Broadly speaking, profitable businesses are less risky than unprofitable ones. That said, the current statutory profit is not always a good guide to a company’s underlying profitability. In this article, we’ll look at how useful this year’s statutory profit is, when analysing Denbury Resources (NYSE:DNR).
It’s good to see that over the last twelve months Denbury Resources made a profit of US$316.6m on revenue of US$1.21b. The good news is that the company managed to grow its revenue over the last three years, and also move from loss-making to profitable.
Of course, it is only sensible to look beyond the statutory profits and question how well those numbers represent the sustainable earnings power of the business. Therefore, today we will consider the nature of Denbury Resources’s statutory earnings with reference to its dilution of shareholders and the impact of unusual items. 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.
To understand the value of a company’s earnings growth, it is imperative to consider any dilution of shareholders’ interests. In fact, Denbury Resources increased the number of shares on issue by 9.3% over the last twelve months by issuing new shares. That means its earnings are split among a greater number of shares. Per share metrics like EPS help us understand how much actual shareholders are benefitting from the company’s profits, while the net income level gives us a better view of the company’s absolute size. You can see a chart of Denbury Resources’s EPS by clicking here.
A Look At The Impact Of Denbury Resources’s Dilution on Its Earnings Per Share (EPS).
Denbury Resources was losing money three years ago. The good news is that profit was up 22% in the last twelve months. On the other hand, earnings per share are only up 16% over the same period. So you can see that the dilution has had a bit of an impact on shareholders. Therefore, the dilution is having a noteworthy influence on shareholder returns. And so, you can see quite clearly that dilution is influencing shareholder earnings.
In the long term, earnings per share growth should beget share price growth. So it will certainly be a positive for shareholders if Denbury Resources can grow EPS persistently. However, if its profit increases while its earnings per share stay flat (or even fall) then shareholders might not see much benefit. For that reason, you could say that EPS is more important that net income in the long run, assuming the goal is to assess whether a company’s share price might grow.
How Do Unusual Items Influence Profit?
Alongside that dilution, it’s also important to note that Denbury Resources’s profit was boosted by unusual items worth US$41m in the last twelve months. We can’t deny that higher profits generally leave us optimistic, but we’d prefer it if the profit were to be sustainable. We ran the numbers on most publicly listed companies worldwide, and it’s very common for unusual items to be once-off in nature. 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 Denbury Resources’s Profit Performance
To sum it all up, Denbury Resources got a nice boost to profit from unusual items; without that, its statutory results would have looked worse. And furthermore, it went and issued plenty of new shares, ensuring that each shareholder (who did not tip more money in) now owns a smaller proportion of the company. For the reasons mentioned above, we think that a perfunctory glance at Denbury Resources’s statutory profits might make it look better than it really is on an underlying level. In light of this, if you’d like to do more analysis on the company, it’s vital to be informed of the risks involved. Case in point: We’ve spotted 4 warning signs for Denbury Resources you should be mindful of and 1 of these shouldn’t be ignored.
In this article we’ve looked at a number of factors that can impair the utility of profit numbers, and we’ve come away cautious. 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.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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