AK Medical Holdings Limited's (HKG:1789) stock was strong despite it releasing a soft earnings report last week. However, we think the company is showing some signs that things are more promising than they seem.
View our latest analysis for AK Medical HoldingsSEHK:1789 Earnings and Revenue History September 6th 2022
A Closer Look At AK Medical Holdings' Earnings
One key financial ratio used to measure how well a company converts its profit to free cash flow (FCF) is the accrual ratio. In plain english, this ratio subtracts FCF from net profit, and divides that number by the company's average operating assets over that period. The ratio shows us how much a company's profit exceeds its FCF.
Therefore, it's actually considered a good thing when a company has a negative accrual ratio, but a bad thing if its accrual ratio is positive. 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".
AK Medical Holdings has an accrual ratio of -0.14 for the year to June 2022. That implies it has good cash conversion, and implies that its free cash flow solidly exceeded its profit last year. In fact, it had free cash flow of CN¥278m in the last year, which was a lot more than its statutory profit of CN¥107.2m. Notably, AK Medical Holdings had negative free cash flow last year, so the CN¥278m it produced this year was a welcome improvement.
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 AK Medical Holdings' Profit Performance
AK Medical Holdings' accrual ratio is solid, and indicates strong free cash flow, as we discussed, above. Based on this observation, we consider it likely that AK Medical Holdings' statutory profit actually understates its earnings potential! Unfortunately, though, its earnings per share actually fell back over the 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. If you want to do dive deeper into AK Medical Holdings, you'd also look into what risks it is currently facing. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for AK Medical Holdings you should be aware of.
This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of AK Medical 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.