SunCoke Energy, Inc.'s (NYSE:SXC ) stock didn't jump after it announced some healthy earnings. We think that investors might be worried about some concerning underlying factors.
The Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit
Importantly, our data indicates that SunCoke Energy's profit received a boost of US$5.7m in unusual items, over the last year. We can't deny that higher profits generally leave us optimistic, but we'd prefer it if the profit were to be sustainable. We ran the numbers on most publicly listed companies worldwide, and it's very common for unusual items to be once-off in nature. And that's as you'd expect, given these boosts are described as 'unusual'. If SunCoke Energy doesn't see that contribution repeat, then all else being equal we'd expect its profit to drop over the current year.
That might leave you wondering what analysts are forecasting in terms of future profitability. Luckily, you can click here to see an interactive graph depicting future profitability, based on their estimates.
Our Take On SunCoke Energy's Profit Performance
We'd posit that SunCoke Energy's statutory earnings aren't a clean read on ongoing productivity, due to the large unusual item. Therefore, it seems possible to us that SunCoke Energy's true underlying earnings power is actually less than its statutory profit. On the bright side, the company showed enough improvement to book a profit this year, after losing money last year. At the end of the day, it's essential to consider more than just the factors above, if you want to understand the company properly. So if you'd like to dive deeper into this stock, it's crucial to consider any risks it's facing. Be aware that SunCoke Energy is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis and 1 of those shouldn't be ignored...
Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of SunCoke Energy's profit. But there is always more to discover if you are capable of focussing your mind on minutiae. For example, many people consider a high return on equity as an indication of favorable business economics, while others like to 'follow the money' and search out stocks that insiders are buying. While it might take a little research on your behalf, you may find this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying to be useful.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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