Even though Fosun Tourism Group's (HKG:1992) recent earnings release was robust, the market didn't seem to notice. We think that investors have missed some encouraging factors underlying the profit figures.
View our latest analysis for Fosun Tourism Group
Examining Cashflow Against Fosun Tourism Group's 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). 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.
As a result, a negative accrual ratio is a positive for the company, and a positive accrual ratio is a negative. 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.
Fosun Tourism Group has an accrual ratio of -0.11 for the year to June 2023. Therefore, its statutory earnings were quite a lot less than its free cashflow. Indeed, in the last twelve months it reported free cash flow of CN¥1.5b, well over the CN¥123.6m it reported in profit. Fosun Tourism Group shareholders are no doubt pleased that free cash flow improved over the last twelve months. Having said that, there is more to the story. The accrual ratio is reflecting the impact of unusual items on statutory profit, at least in part.
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.
The Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit
While the accrual ratio might bode well, we also note that Fosun Tourism Group's profit was boosted by unusual items worth CN¥127m in the last twelve months. While we like to see profit increases, we tend to be a little more cautious when unusual items have made a big contribution. When we crunched the numbers on thousands of publicly listed companies, we found that a boost from unusual items in a given year is often not repeated the next year. Which is hardly surprising, given the name. 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).
Our Take On Fosun Tourism Group's Profit Performance
Fosun Tourism Group's profits got a boost from unusual items, which indicates they might not be sustained and yet its accrual ratio still indicated solid cash conversion, which is promising. Based on these factors, it's hard to tell if Fosun Tourism Group's profits are a reasonable reflection of its underlying profitability. With this in mind, we wouldn't consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Fosun Tourism Group (of which 1 shouldn't be ignored!) you should know about.
In this article we've looked at a number of factors that can impair the utility of profit numbers, as a guide to a business. 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.
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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.