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Sundy Service Group's (HKG:9608) Solid Profits Have Weak Fundamentals

Simply Wall St ·  10/10/2022 08:25

Sundy Service Group Co. Ltd (HKG:9608) announced strong profits, but the stock was stagnant. Our analysis suggests that shareholders have noticed something concerning in the numbers.

Check out our latest analysis for Sundy Service Group

earnings-and-revenue-historySEHK:9608 Earnings and Revenue History October 10th 2022

Examining Cashflow Against Sundy Service Group's 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'.

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

Over the twelve months to June 2022, Sundy Service Group recorded an accrual ratio of 2.22. As a general rule, that bodes poorly for future profitability. 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 CN¥156m despite its profit of CN¥50.4m, mentioned above. It's worth noting that Sundy Service Group generated positive FCF of CN¥16m a year ago, so at least they've done it in the past.

Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of Sundy Service Group.

Our Take On Sundy Service Group's Profit Performance

As we discussed above, we think Sundy Service Group's earnings were not supported by free cash flow, which might concern some investors. As a result, we think it may well be the case that Sundy Service Group's underlying earnings power is lower than its statutory profit. But at least holders can take some solace from the 28% per annum growth in EPS for the last three. 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. With this in mind, we wouldn't consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Sundy Service Group (1 can't be ignored) you should be familiar with.

This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of Sundy Service Group's 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. 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.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement of any specific investment or investment strategy. Read more
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