Despite posting some strong earnings, the market for Carpenter Tan Holdings Limited's (HKG:837) stock hasn't moved much. Our analysis suggests that this might be because shareholders have noticed some concerning underlying factors.
View our latest analysis for Carpenter Tan HoldingsSEHK:837 Earnings and Revenue History April 27th 2022
Zooming In On Carpenter Tan Holdings' Earnings
Many investors haven't heard of the accrual ratio from cashflow, but it is actually a useful measure of how well a company's profit is backed up by free cash flow (FCF) during a given period. 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. While it's not a problem to have a positive accrual ratio, indicating a certain level of non-cash profits, a high accrual ratio is arguably a bad thing, because it indicates paper profits are not matched by cash flow. Notably, there is some academic evidence that suggests that a high accrual ratio is a bad sign for near-term profits, generally speaking.
Carpenter Tan Holdings has an accrual ratio of 0.22 for the year to December 2021. We can therefore deduce that its free cash flow fell well short of covering its statutory profit. Indeed, in the last twelve months it reported free cash flow of CN¥44m, which is significantly less than its profit of CN¥107.7m. Carpenter Tan Holdings shareholders will no doubt be hoping that its free cash flow bounces back next year, since it was down over the last twelve months.
Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of Carpenter Tan Holdings.
Our Take On Carpenter Tan Holdings' Profit Performance
Carpenter Tan Holdings didn't convert much of its profit to free cash flow in the last year, which some investors may consider rather suboptimal. Because of this, we think that it may be that Carpenter Tan Holdings' statutory profits are better than its underlying earnings power. The good news is that, its earnings per share increased by 36% in the last year. The goal of this article has been to assess how well we can rely on the statutory earnings to reflect the company's potential, but there is plenty more to consider. 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. Our analysis shows 3 warning signs for Carpenter Tan Holdings (2 are a bit unpleasant!) and we strongly recommend you look at these bad boys before investing.
Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Carpenter Tan Holdings' 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.
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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.