SiS Mobile Holdings Limited (HKG:1362) announced strong profits, but the stock was stagnant. We did some digging, and we found some concerning factors in the details.
View our latest analysis for SiS Mobile HoldingsSEHK:1362 Earnings and Revenue History April 28th 2022
Examining Cashflow Against SiS Mobile Holdings' 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. The accrual ratio subtracts the FCF from the profit for a given period, and divides the result by the average operating assets of the company over that time. The ratio shows us how much a company's profit exceeds its FCF.
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 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. To quote a 2014 paper by Lewellen and Resutek, "firms with higher accruals tend to be less profitable in the future".
Over the twelve months to December 2021, SiS Mobile Holdings recorded an accrual ratio of 0.50. Ergo, its free cash flow is significantly weaker than its profit. Statistically speaking, that's a real negative for future earnings. Indeed, in the last twelve months it reported free cash flow of HK$1.1m, which is significantly less than its profit of HK$33.3m. SiS Mobile Holdings' free cash flow actually declined over the last year, but it may bounce back next year, since free cash flow is often more volatile than accounting profits. The good news for shareholders is that SiS Mobile Holdings' accrual ratio was much better last year, so this year's poor reading might simply be a case of a short term mismatch between profit and FCF. Shareholders should look for improved cashflow relative to profit in the current year, if that is indeed the case.
Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of SiS Mobile Holdings.
Our Take On SiS Mobile Holdings' Profit Performance
As we discussed above, we think SiS Mobile Holdings' earnings were not supported by free cash flow, which might concern some investors. For this reason, we think that SiS Mobile Holdings' statutory profits may be a bad guide to its underlying earnings power, and might give investors an overly positive impression of the company. But the happy news is that, while acknowledging we have to look beyond the statutory numbers, those numbers are still improving, with EPS growing at a very high rate over 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. Keep in mind, when it comes to analysing a stock it's worth noting the risks involved. When we did our research, we found 3 warning signs for SiS Mobile Holdings (1 is a bit concerning!) that we believe deserve your full attention.
Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of SiS Mobile Holdings' profit. But there are plenty of other ways to inform your opinion of a company. 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.