Investors Shouldn't Be Too Comfortable With Teradyne's (NASDAQ:TER) Robust Earnings

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 03, 2021
NasdaqGS:TER
Source: Shutterstock

Despite posting some strong earnings, the market for Teradyne, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:TER) stock hasn't moved much. Our analysis suggests that shareholders have noticed something concerning in the numbers.

See our latest analysis for Teradyne

earnings-and-revenue-history
NasdaqGS:TER Earnings and Revenue History August 3rd 2021

A Closer Look At Teradyne's Earnings

In high finance, the key ratio used to measure how well a company converts reported profits into free cash flow (FCF) is the accrual ratio (from cashflow). 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'.

That means a negative accrual ratio is a good thing, because it shows that the company is bringing in more free cash flow than its profit would suggest. 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. Notably, there is some academic evidence that suggests that a high accrual ratio is a bad sign for near-term profits, generally speaking.

Over the twelve months to July 2021, Teradyne recorded an accrual ratio of 0.20. We can therefore deduce that its free cash flow fell well short of covering its statutory profit. To wit, it produced free cash flow of US$672m during the period, falling well short of its reported profit of US$952.9m. We note, however, that Teradyne grew its free cash flow over the last 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 Teradyne's Profit Performance

Teradyne's accrual ratio for the last twelve months signifies cash conversion is less than ideal, which is a negative when it comes to our view of its earnings. Therefore, it seems possible to us that Teradyne's true underlying earnings power is actually less than its statutory profit. But on the bright side, its earnings per share have grown at an extremely impressive rate over the last three years. Of course, we've only just scratched the surface when it comes to analysing its earnings; one could also consider margins, forecast growth, and return on investment, among other factors. If you'd like to know more about Teradyne as a business, it's important to be aware of any risks it's facing. At Simply Wall St, we found 1 warning sign for Teradyne and we think they deserve your attention.

Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Teradyne's profit. But there are plenty of other ways to inform your opinion of a company. Some people consider a high return on equity to be a good sign of a quality business. 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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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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