After announcing weak earnings, Grand Banks Yachts Limited's (SGX:G50) stock was strong. Despite the market responding positively, we think that there are several concerning factors that investors should be aware of.
Check out our latest analysis for Grand Banks YachtsSGX:G50 Earnings and Revenue History September 5th 2022
Zooming In On Grand Banks Yachts' Earnings
In high finance, the key ratio used to measure how well a company converts reported profits into free cash flow (FCF) is the accrual ratio (from cashflow). 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'.
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 having an accrual ratio above zero is of little concern, we do think it's worth noting when a company has a relatively high accrual ratio. That's because some academic studies have suggested that high accruals ratios tend to lead to lower profit or less profit growth.
For the year to June 2022, Grand Banks Yachts had an accrual ratio of 0.47. Statistically speaking, that's a real negative for future earnings. To wit, the company did not generate one whit of free cashflow in that time. In the last twelve months it actually had negative free cash flow, with an outflow of S$8.2m despite its profit of S$4.01m, mentioned above. It's worth noting that Grand Banks Yachts generated positive FCF of S$37m a year ago, so at least they've done it in the past. However, we can see that a recent tax benefit, along with unusual items, have impacted its statutory profit, and therefore its accrual ratio. The good news for shareholders is that Grand Banks Yachts' 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. As a result, some shareholders may be looking for stronger cash conversion in the current year.
Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of Grand Banks Yachts.
The Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit
The fact that the company had unusual items boosting profit by S$296k, in the last year, probably goes some way to explain why its accrual ratio was so weak. We can't deny that higher profits generally leave us optimistic, but we'd prefer it if the profit were to be sustainable. When we analysed the vast majority of listed companies worldwide, we found that significant unusual items are often not repeated. And that's as you'd expect, given these boosts are described as 'unusual'. Assuming those unusual items don't show up again in the current year, we'd thus expect profit to be weaker next year (in the absence of business growth, that is).
An Unusual Tax Situation
Moving on from the accrual ratio, we note that Grand Banks Yachts profited from a tax benefit which contributed S$1.1m to profit. This is of course a bit out of the ordinary, given it is more common for companies to be paying tax than receiving tax benefits! We're sure the company was pleased with its tax benefit. However, the devil in the detail is that these kind of benefits only impact in the year they are booked, and are often one-off in nature. Assuming the tax benefit is not repeated every year, we could see its profitability drop noticeably, all else being equal.
Our Take On Grand Banks Yachts' Profit Performance
In conclusion, Grand Banks Yachts' weak accrual ratio suggests its statutory earnings have been inflated by the non-cash tax benefit and the boost it received from unusual items. For all the reasons mentioned above, we think that, at a glance, Grand Banks Yachts' statutory profits could be considered to be low quality, because they are likely to give investors an overly positive impression of the company. If you'd like to know more about Grand Banks Yachts as a business, it's important to be aware of any risks it's facing. To help with this, we've discovered 4 warning signs (3 make us uncomfortable!) that you ought to be aware of before buying any shares in Grand Banks Yachts.
Our examination of Grand Banks Yachts has focussed on certain factors that can make its earnings look better than they are. And, on that basis, we are somewhat skeptical. 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.