Unsurprisingly, Merafe Resources Limited's (JSE:MRF) stock price was strong on the back of its healthy earnings report. However, our analysis suggests that shareholders may be missing some factors that indicate the earnings result was not as good as it looked.
The Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit
To properly understand Merafe Resources' profit results, we need to consider the R289m gain attributed to unusual items. While it's always nice to have higher profit, a large contribution from unusual items sometimes dampens our enthusiasm. When we crunched the numbers on thousands of publicly listed companies, we found that a boost from unusual items in a given year is often not repeated the next year. And, after all, that's exactly what the accounting terminology implies. Merafe Resources had a rather significant contribution from unusual items relative to its profit to June 2021. As a result, we can surmise that the unusual items are making its statutory profit significantly stronger than it would otherwise be.
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 Merafe Resources' Profit Performance
As previously mentioned, Merafe Resources' large boost from unusual items won't be there indefinitely, so its statutory earnings are probably a poor guide to its underlying profitability. As a result, we think it may well be the case that Merafe Resources' underlying earnings power is lower 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 while earnings quality is important, it's equally important to consider the risks facing Merafe Resources at this point in time. When we did our research, we found 4 warning signs for Merafe Resources (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that we believe deserve your full attention.
Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Merafe Resources' 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. 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.
If you're looking for stocks to buy, use the lowest-cost* platform that is rated #1 Overall by Barron’s, Interactive Brokers. Trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds on 135 markets, all from a single integrated account. Promoted
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.