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China Leon Inspection Holding's (HKG:1586) Soft Earnings Are Actually Better Than They Appear

Simply Wall St ·  {{timeTz}}

Soft earnings didn't appear to concern China Leon Inspection Holding Limited's (HKG:1586) shareholders over the last week. We think that the softer headline numbers might be getting counterbalanced by some positive underlying factors.

Check out our latest analysis for China Leon Inspection Holding

SEHK:1586 Earnings and Revenue History May 9th 2022

Zooming In On China Leon Inspection Holding's 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. In plain english, this ratio subtracts FCF from net profit, and divides that number by the company's average operating assets over that period. This ratio tells us how much of a company's profit is not backed by free cashflow.

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. Notably, there is some academic evidence that suggests that a high accrual ratio is a bad sign for near-term profits, generally speaking.

For the year to December 2021, China Leon Inspection Holding had an accrual ratio of -0.13. That indicates that its free cash flow was a fair bit more than its statutory profit. Indeed, in the last twelve months it reported free cash flow of HK$89m, well over the HK$49.8m it reported in profit. China Leon Inspection Holding's free cash flow improved over the last year, which is generally good to see.

Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of China Leon Inspection Holding.

Our Take On China Leon Inspection Holding's Profit Performance

As we discussed above, China Leon Inspection Holding has perfectly satisfactory free cash flow relative to profit. Because of this, we think China Leon Inspection Holding's earnings potential is at least as good as it seems, and maybe even better! Better yet, its EPS are growing strongly, which is nice to see. 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. Keep in mind, when it comes to analysing a stock it's worth noting the risks involved. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 1 warning sign with China Leon Inspection Holding, and understanding it should be part of your investment process.

Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of China Leon Inspection Holding's 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.

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