Many investors consider it preferable to invest in profitable companies over unprofitable ones, because profitability suggests a business is sustainable. Having said that, sometimes statutory profit levels are not a good guide to ongoing profitability, because some short term one-off factor has impacted profit levels. Today we’ll focus on whether this year’s statutory profits are a good guide to understanding Kroger (NYSE:KR).
While Kroger was able to generate revenue of US$130.7b in the last twelve months, we think its profit result of US$2.95b was more important. In the chart below, you can see that its profit and revenue have both grown over the last three years.
Check out our latest analysis for Kroger
Importantly, statutory profits are not always the best tool for understanding a company’s true earnings power, so it’s well worth examining profits in a little more detail. This article will focus on the impact unusual items have had on Kroger’s statutory earnings. 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.
How Do Unusual Items Influence Profit?
To properly understand Kroger’s profit results, we need to consider the US$665m gain attributed to unusual items. 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. 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 Kroger’s Profit Performance
Arguably, Kroger’s statutory earnings have been distorted by unusual items boosting profit. Because of this, we think that it may be that Kroger’s statutory profits are better than its underlying earnings power. But the good news is that its EPS growth over the last three years has been very impressive. 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 Kroger, you’d also look into what risks it is currently facing. For example, Kroger has 4 warning signs (and 1 which can’t be ignored) we think you should know about.
This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of Kroger’s profit. 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. 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.
If you decide to trade Kroger, use the lowest-cost* platform that is rated #1 Overall by Barron’s, Interactive Brokers. Trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds on 135 markets, all from a single integrated account.
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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.