Stock Analysis

Realogy Holdings' (NYSE:RLGY) Robust Earnings Are Supported By Other Strong Factors

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Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE:RLGY) recently posted some strong earnings, and the market responded positively. Our analysis found some more factors that we think are good for shareholders.

See our latest analysis for Realogy Holdings

earnings-and-revenue-history
NYSE:RLGY Earnings and Revenue History May 7th 2021

A Closer Look At Realogy Holdings' Earnings

One key financial ratio used to measure how well a company converts its profit to free cash flow (FCF) is the accrual ratio. In plain english, this ratio subtracts FCF from net profit, and divides that number by the company's average operating assets over that period. You could think of the accrual ratio from cashflow as the 'non-FCF profit ratio'.

As a result, a negative accrual ratio is a positive for the company, and a positive accrual ratio is a negative. While having an accrual ratio above zero is of little concern, we do think it's worth noting when a company has a relatively high accrual ratio. To quote a 2014 paper by Lewellen and Resutek, "firms with higher accruals tend to be less profitable in the future".

Realogy Holdings has an accrual ratio of -0.12 for the year to March 2021. Therefore, its statutory earnings were quite a lot less than its free cashflow. In fact, it had free cash flow of US$704m in the last year, which was a lot more than its statutory profit of US$135.0m. Realogy Holdings shareholders are no doubt pleased that free cash flow improved over the last twelve months. However, that's not all there is to consider. We can see that unusual items have impacted its statutory profit, and therefore the accrual ratio.

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.

How Do Unusual Items Influence Profit?

Realogy Holdings' profit was reduced by unusual items worth US$292m in the last twelve months, and this helped it produce high cash conversion, as reflected by its unusual items. This is what you'd expect to see where a company has a non-cash charge reducing paper profits. While deductions due to unusual items are disappointing in the first instance, there is a silver lining. When we analysed the vast majority of listed companies worldwide, we found that significant unusual items are often not repeated. And that's hardly a surprise given these line items are considered unusual. In the twelve months to March 2021, Realogy Holdings had a big unusual items expense. As a result, we can surmise that the unusual items made its statutory profit significantly weaker than it would otherwise be.

Our Take On Realogy Holdings' Profit Performance

In conclusion, both Realogy Holdings' accrual ratio and its unusual items suggest that its statutory earnings are probably reasonably conservative. After considering all this, we reckon Realogy Holdings' statutory profit probably understates its earnings potential! Keep in mind, when it comes to analysing a stock it's worth noting the risks involved. For example, Realogy Holdings has 4 warning signs (and 1 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.

Our examination of Realogy Holdings has focussed on certain factors that can make its earnings look better than they are. And it has passed with flying colours. But there are plenty of other ways to inform your opinion of a company. 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. So you may wish to see this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying.

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What are the risks and opportunities for Anywhere Real Estate?

Anywhere Real Estate Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides residential real estate services in the United States and internationally.

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Rewards

  • Trading at 84.8% below our estimate of its fair value

Risks

  • Earnings are forecast to decline by an average of 2.2% per year for the next 3 years

  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow

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