Shareholders Will Be Pleased With The Quality of Commvault Systems' (NASDAQ:CVLT) Earnings

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 02, 2021
NasdaqGS:CVLT
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Commvault Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CVLT) recently posted some strong earnings, and the market responded positively. We did some digging and found some further encouraging factors that investors will like.

See our latest analysis for Commvault Systems

earnings-and-revenue-history
NasdaqGS:CVLT Earnings and Revenue History November 3rd 2021

Examining Cashflow Against Commvault Systems' Earnings

As finance nerds would already know, the accrual ratio from cashflow is a key measure for assessing how well a company's free cash flow (FCF) matches its profit. To get the accrual ratio we first subtract FCF from profit for a period, and then divide that number by the average operating assets for the 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. That is not intended to imply we should worry about a positive accrual ratio, but it's worth noting where the accrual ratio is rather high. To quote a 2014 paper by Lewellen and Resutek, "firms with higher accruals tend to be less profitable in the future".

For the year to September 2021, Commvault Systems had an accrual ratio of -7.80. That implies it has very good cash conversion, and that its earnings in the last year actually significantly understate its free cash flow. To wit, it produced free cash flow of US$138m during the period, dwarfing its reported profit of US$23.6m. Commvault Systems' free cash flow improved over the last year, which is generally good to see. Having said that, there is more to the story. The accrual ratio is reflecting the impact of unusual items on statutory profit, at least in part.

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?

Commvault Systems' profit was reduced by unusual items worth US$20m 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. It's never great to see unusual items costing the company profits, but on the upside, things might improve sooner rather than later. We looked at thousands of listed companies and found that unusual items are very often one-off in nature. And that's hardly a surprise given these line items are considered unusual. If Commvault Systems doesn't see those unusual expenses repeat, then all else being equal we'd expect its profit to increase over the coming year.

Our Take On Commvault Systems' Profit Performance

In conclusion, both Commvault Systems' accrual ratio and its unusual items suggest that its statutory earnings are probably reasonably conservative. After considering all this, we reckon Commvault Systems' statutory profit probably understates its earnings potential! In light of this, if you'd like to do more analysis on the company, it's vital to be informed of the risks involved. At Simply Wall St, we found 3 warning signs for Commvault Systems and we think they deserve your attention.

After our examination into the nature of Commvault Systems' profit, we've come away optimistic for the company. 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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