Here's Why We Think Fidelity National Information Services' (NYSE:FIS) Statutory Earnings Might Be Conservative

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 21, 2021
NYSE:FIS

Statistically speaking, it is less risky to invest in profitable companies than in unprofitable ones. That said, the current statutory profit is not always a good guide to a company's underlying profitability. In this article, we'll look at how useful this year's statutory profit is, when analysing Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE:FIS).

It's good to see that over the last twelve months Fidelity National Information Services made a profit of US$158.0m on revenue of US$12.6b. The chart below shows how it has grown revenue over the last three years, but that profit has declined.

See our latest analysis for Fidelity National Information Services

earnings-and-revenue-history
NYSE:FIS Earnings and Revenue History February 21st 2021

Of course, it is only sensible to look beyond the statutory profits and question how well those numbers represent the sustainable earnings power of the business. This article will focus on the impact unusual items have had on Fidelity National Information Services' statutory earnings. 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?

Importantly, our data indicates that Fidelity National Information Services' profit was reduced by US$994m, due to unusual items, over the last year. 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, after all, that's exactly what the accounting terminology implies. In the twelve months to December 2020, Fidelity National Information Services had a big unusual items expense. All else being equal, this would likely have the effect of making the statutory profit look worse than its underlying earnings power.

Our Take On Fidelity National Information Services' Profit Performance

As we discussed above, we think the significant unusual expense will make Fidelity National Information Services' statutory profit lower than it would otherwise have been. Based on this observation, we consider it possible that Fidelity National Information Services' statutory profit actually understates its earnings potential! On the other hand, its EPS actually shrunk in the last twelve months. 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. 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. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs that you should run your eye over to get a better picture of Fidelity National Information Services.

Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Fidelity National Information Services' 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. 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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