I am finding this step very daunting and overwhelming. Each step of the assignment relating to our firms forces us to examine the financials a little bit more closely each time. For me I feel as though this step really highlights that accounting is about understanding the realities of business. Even though we have been guided through the unit by adding a layer on information each week, I feel as though this step will also highlights if we really have engaged with the material. This is what I find most daunting as I feel my knowledge is a little lacking. Pushing all my negative feelings aside I am interested to know what the ratio analysis shows about CentralNic – I only hope I can understand what the number represent.
I began this step by watching the lecture and slowly completing the ratios – I must admit a few of the ratios had me scratching my head. I was one of the lucky (that was sarcasm) students who has NOL rather than NOA and NFI instead of NFE. So that was a little challenging but this is where peer support helps – reading many Facebook and forum posts about these issues showed me a way to tackle the task at hand. I must admit I am still a little stuck on inventory turnover as my financials do not clearly show cost of goods sold but hopefully peer feedback will help set me on the right path.
The ratios that have been calculated to examine CentralNic’s profitability are Net Profit Margin (NPM) and Return on Assets (ROA). Profitability ratios show how successful a business is in generating earnings (profit) compared to its incurred expenses during a set period of time. NPM shows as a percentage how much is retained as profit out of every dollar made in revenue. ROA shows as a percentage how effectively and efficient a business is in deploying its assets to generate profit.
Below are the profitability ratios for CentralNic and for comparison purposes I have also included the ratios for SLI Systems as they are also a company in the technology industry. SLI Systems is a predictive cloud based platform that helps businesses sell their products be generating more traffic to their website. For example, if I visit JB HiFi to buy a DVD player then go onto another website I may have ads that pop up on that website that show me the products I have just looked at – sometimes I really think someone is stalking me when this happens. This is to entice me to go back and make the purchase. Hopefully I have understood what SLI Systems do, if not at least I may have educated people that no you are not being stalked!
After calculating the NPM which was relevant straight forward I was a little shocked of the outcome. CentralNic’s NPM has decreased from 2013 (17.4 cents to every dollar) to 2014 (6 cents to every dollar) then there was a slight increase in 2015 (8.7 cents to every dollar) but the another drop in 2016 (4.3 cents to every dollars). Overall the results are not looking promising even considering the percentage for 2013. I was left wondering why these percentages were so low and had been declining over the years when the revenue and sales had increased each year.
Recalling from my earlier research that CentralNic appeared to be in a growth phase as they only listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2013. I had a look at the expenses over the past 4 years and it appears that as CentralNic becomes larger and acquires other businesses that the expenses are growing rapidly. As the growth in expenses is higher than the growth in revenue this resulted in less money retained in profits. With plans to acquire businesses in the future I would be a little concerned that the NPM would continue to drop if the level of revenue is not growing at the same rate.
In comparison SLI System has made a made a loss for every dollar of sales generated but the ratio shows that the loss has been decreased from 2013 to 2016. I found it interesting that even though they made an increasing loss from 2013 – 2015, the ratio represented that they are losing less money. I looked at the revenue and can see that is has increased from 2013 – 2016 so I am assuming this is the driving factor behind the ratio. In 2016 SLI Systems had dramatically reduced the loss and from reading Tahlia’s earlier assignment steps I discovered that they managed to sign some big clients so I am assuming this is predominately the reason for the shift in the decreasing loss.
Looking at the calculations for ROA, I was again surprised to see such low percentages. It appears that the acquisition made in 2016 has had a large impact on the total assets with a massive increase in intangible assets. There was also a massive spike in cash for 2015 as more share went on offer to help fund the acquisition. I find it fascinating how this acquisition has had a roll-on effect into other ratios. This is an area that I would monitor in future years to see how CentralNic deploys these assets gained to help generate profits. With plans to pursue other acquisitions it will be interesting to see if this percentage continues to decline.
I am not really sure what to make of SLI Systems ROA ratios, they seem a little bit all over the place. From what I can see there was drop in cash from 2013 to 2015. Making a loss each year would decrease cash reserves to keep the business operating. In 2016 there was a slight increase to cash and this was the year that made least amount of loss. Primarily the change in assets was the cash balances.
Efficiency ratios indicates how well a business internally uses its assets and liabilities – are they being overworked or under-utilised. The efficiency ratios being analysed are Days of Inventory and Total Asset Turnover Ratio. Days of Inventory represent the number of days inventory is held before being sold. Total Asset Turnover Ratio indicates the ability to use its assets to generate revenue.
Well I honestly would not have thought I would have run across any issues in calculating the days of inventory – I assumed that CentralNic would not even have any inventory! But it turns out for 2016 and 2015 they do. I was really stumped as to what was considered cost of goods sold (COGS) in my income statement – while reading a peer’s assignment the feedback they received was to use their cost of sales. I was unaware that this line item was the same as COGS but according to trusty Google they are. Problem solved. Once I managed to calculate out the ratio I was left wondering what the inventory was and I discovered a note under intangible assets that stated domain names held for resale were reclassified as stock held. The result of the ratio for both 2016 (9.84) and 2015 (4.02) was quite good. But I am left to wonder as the inventory figure was quite low whether that has skewed the results.
SLI Systems does not hold any inventory on hand so I am unable to offer a comparison.
I am glad I had an easier time calculating the Asset Turnover Ratio. Although the results were a little surprising. While they managed to maintain a steady turnover rate each year it is incredibly low. In 2016 they are only generating 40 cents of their assets into sales. Even though their revenue is increasing each year, their assets seem to be increasing at the same rate. Perhaps it is due to them being in a growth phase. I wonder if their assets will start generating more revenue once they move out of this phase.
SLI Systems seems to be performing a litter better than CentralNic with their turnover rate steadily increasing reaching $2.38 of their assets being generated into sales for 2016. They have managed to generate more revenue each year but their assets have also decreased each year – so I am left to wonder are they becoming more efficient or is the decrease in the assets the cause of the increased turnover.
Liquidity ratios show a business’s ability to meet its debt obligations and it also shows a margin of safety in its ability to cover those obligations. To asses CentralNic’s liquidity I have calculated the current assets to current liabilities – effectively seeing their ability to cover short-term debt obligations. Liquidity measurement is important as it shows cash flow positioning and will often be analysed as part of going concern – if a business was to go bankrupt or close could they cover their obligations?
The actual calculation of this ratio was once again straightforward and easy to complete. I must admit the outcome of the calculation was a lot lower than I was expecting and I clearly had not put much effort in looking at CentralNic’s financials as it is obvious from the totals listed in that it would be a relative low figure. While CentralNic can cover their short-term obligations (except for in 2014 where it dropped to a low of .92), there is no really safety net to cover any unexpected debt obligations they may have to meet.
In comparison SLI Systems shows they had managed to cover their short-term debt by 3.5 times in 2013. It makes sense given the decrease in cash reserves because of the loss sustained each year that the ratio would be declining reaching a low point in 2015 (1.36) but due to the increased cash in 2016, the ratio has begun to increase again (1.43). Ultimately every year SLI Systems have been able to cover the short-term debt but if they continue to make a loss each year I am sure that there will come a time when they will not be able to – currently just like CentralNic they really do not have any safety margin if any unexpected debt arises.
Financial Structure Ratios
Financial Structure Ratios show how where the funds on the business come from (either equity or external parties). It also represents the ability to pay long term debt obligations. To asses CentralNic’s financial structure I will be analysing the Debt to Equity Ratio and Equity Ratio. Debt to Equity shows the amount of debt used to fund its assets relative to the amount represented in equity. The Equity Ratio shows the amount of assets that are funded by shareholders (equity). Both ratios give a good indication of how a business is leveraged.
I must admit that even though the calculation was straight forward I was having trouble understanding what these ratios were indicating. I was blown away by the size of the debt to equity for CentralNic in 2016 (119.7%). It again was exceptionally high in 2014 (96.9%). Although 2013 (65.1%) and 2015 (58.2%) where lower numbers were generated it is still considered quite high. These results indicate that CentralNic have been very aggressive with debt payable to outside parties – although the majority of debt seems to be driven by current liabilities. 2016 saw the biggest jump due to the InstraGroup acquisition (one again I am seeing a flow on effect of this acquisition). I am under the impression this ratio will remain quite high while they are in their growth phase. If they retain a growing profit due to less expenses one they top expanding I would expect this ratio to decrease significantly. Although as an investor I would be worried that they are trying to grow too big too fast.
In comparison to SLI Systems has an alarming high debt to equity ratio. They do not have any borrowings/loans. The losses made have really taken a toll of their retained earnings causing such a high ratio. The slight drop from 2015 (167.1%) to 2016 (154.1%) was due to increased share capital and reserves in equity.
The equity ratio for CentralNic has been decreasing from 2013 to 2016, but there was a spike in 2015. This indicates over the years their assets are being funded more and more by debt (liabilities). Maria mentioned in her lecture that investors get very concerned when 40% or more of assets are funded by debt – this is currently the case for CentralNic in 2016. As abovementioned that less and less is being funded by equity this may give investors more cause for concern. I believe this is due to the business being in a growth phase but it is obviously another cause of concern when analysing these ratios. Given that CentralNic is showing very small profitability ratios as well investors maybe further alarmed by these results.
In comparison to SLI Systems which has also had a decrease in assets being funded by equity. They would be considered high risk as 2015 and 2016 has increased the funding from liabilities to over 60%. Given that they are not profitable as an investor you may be considering other options.
Market Ratios can assist potential investors (and current investors) in seeing if a business is a good investment. They can determine if a share price is over or under valued and can see what the return on their investment would be. The ratios used for the analyses are Earnings per Share (EPS), Dividends per Share (DPS) and Price Earnings Ratio. EPS shows the share of profit allocation to each ordinary share a business has issued – this would also be another indicator of their profitability. DPS shows the dividends paid for each ordinary share issued – essentially the amount of money an investor would receive per share they own in a company. Price Earnings Ratio shows the amount an investor would have to contribute to receive one dollar of the business earnings.
I had a little trouble with the calculation of the EPS as it did not match CentralNic’s financials. I came to realise it was due to a difference currency being used. The EPS was listed as pence (GBX) but the profit is listed in pounds (GBP). I chose to convert the EPS into pounds to keep all the figures in the same currency. Converting them to pounds made me realise how little profit is portioned onto each share issued. While CentralNic is making a reasonable profit that is growing year to year, they have in the past released a high number of shares to raise the necessary cash to fund potential acquisition. If the shares released are not in portion to the profit earned this would obviously cause a drop in the EPS. I believe this is reflected in 2014 (0.006) – compared to 2013 (0.010) and 2015 (0.014).
In comparisons to SLI Systems who shows their EPS as a negative for each year due to making a loss. The loss they are making on EPS have increased from 2013 to 2015 because of their increased loss sustained. There was a significant drop in the loss for 2016 and this is represented in the calculation. Overall as a potential investor this would not look appealing and perhaps it would be more beneficial for them to wait to see if the trend of decreasing their loss continues with the hope that a profit will eventually be gained.
The calculation for DPS was straightforward and it can be clearly seen that dividends were only paid in 2013. In my earlier research of CentralNic I had discovered that they had not paid dividends since 2013- and I concluded that they wanted to keep as much cash on hand during their growth phase to further their plans to acquire more business’. When they paid dividends in can been seen that they paid slightly more than the EPS – I found this a little strange as I would have thought they would not want to pass on more than they earned. Perhaps this was decided due to knowing they would not be paying dividends in the near future and they wanted to keep their investors happy.
In comparison to SLI Systems who have not paid any dividends over the four years. I am assuming that this is due to making a loss each year so there were no funds available to make this payment. Although business’ sometimes fund their dividends by borrowing money, SLI Systems has chosen not to do this.
I am a little lost with the price earnings ratio. From the definition I provided I am guessing that an investor would have to be willing to invest 46.56 (2016) for every dollar of profit they earn? The market share price has remained steady from 2014 tp 2016. There was a massive reduction from 2013, I am assuming that is the cause of the dramatic drop in the calculation from 2013 to 2014. As CentralNic only listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2013 I am assuming this is the reasoning for such a large share price before levelling out in 2014.
As I have stated above I seem to have very little understanding of the price earnings ratio and given the ratios for SLI Systems are ‘all over the place’ I am unsure what the cause is. I am unable to provide much insight for comparison. I also do not understand how having a negative EPS effects this ratio.
Ratios Based on Reformulated Financial Statements
I am very interested to see if the restated ratios show a difference by just separating operating from financing. It is great to be able to compare these ratios to the other calculations just completed as it will help to put this into perspective – well at least I hope so. I will also realise that having to go through the stress of restarting my financial was worth it (hopefully).
Return on Equity is the first ratio to be examined with the restated financials. This ratio examines how well a business uses its shareholders investments to generate a profit. This ratio would be of particular interest to investors – showing how a business add value with its equity. For the entire four years CentralNic has returned positive numbers. I believe the drop from 2013 to 2014 is related to the slight reduction in the OI (2014) in relation to growth in equity. The decrease in OI was caused by slightly higher expenses – even though revenue was also higher it was not proportional to the expenses. Overall the ratios look very appealing to investors.
RNOA VS ROA
The next ratio to be examined is Return on Net Operating Assets (RNOA). This looks at the efficiency of the operation – similar to the ROA used in earlier calculations. With the removal of financing activities for RNOA it is interesting to see the difference that is generated by the ratio. With the exception of 2013 (it is a negative due to having NOL), the percentage generated is more appealing. 2015 is exceptionally high – without knowing why, I would consider this ratio a little too high – are they overusing their assets? Fortunately, I believe the massive jump is due to having such a large cash balance on hand from releasing shares to help fund the acquisition of InstraGroup that were removed from operating. This has made the balance of NOA much smaller and when measured against the OI it caused the massive increase. It can be seen that it decreased significantly in 2016 because of the reduction in overall cash.
Moving onto Net Borrowing Costs, I again hit a bump in the road. I had many combinations of NFE/NFI and NFO/NFE. Due to the many discussions on the forums and Facebook (including Term 1 discussions), I was able to determine that 2014 (-0.61%) and 2015 (-1.41%) should be inputted as negatives due to having NFI/NFA – effectively there was no cost of borrowing. 2013 and 2016 was a little trickier and ultimately no one was able to offer any advice. I thought perhaps I should have a better understanding of what the ratio is trying to indicate. From the information I have found it indicates the average interest rate that business is paying on its borrowings. For this reason, I have decided to indicate 2016 as a positive percentage as I have NFE (due to a large loan drawn down). Even though CentralNic had NFA for this year, its interest expense outweighed the interest income. For 2013 I have decided to indicate the percentage as a positive as I once again had NFI for the year. I am still a little unsure about this decision due to having NFO but ultimately the interest expense and negated by the interest income.
PM VS NPM
I was very intrigued to see that the Profit Margin (PM) produced from the restated financials were not much different to the ratios for NPM. I believe this is due to not having a lot of items classified as financing so that figures remained much the same. 2016 was the exception due to a higher financing expenses from the loan drawdown for the InstraGroup acquisition. This removal of has caused the ratio to dramatically increase.
ATO VS TATO
I am seeing a similar trend in the changes of ratios for Asset Turnover (ATO) vs TATO as I did for RNOA vs ROA. I believe the driver of this is again the removal of cash into financing – there is a huge difference in 2015 for this reason. 2013 was once again a negative due to generating a NOL rather than a NOA. Sales generated each year increased. While the ratios have increased, I would say they are not still ideal.
After reviewing the ratios for CentralNic, I can still say I am a little shocked as they indicate they a performing worse than what I would have first thought. I can see how ratios would be a little deceiving – as I have conducted research into CentralNic I know that the results on these ratios are most likely due to them currently in a growth phase. It was also interesting to see that the acquisition of InstraGroup had an impact on most areas – this really hit home that decisions made have such a wide reach on a business.
As an investor I would appreciate the necessity of getting a bigger picture by separating the operating from the financing as these ratios presented a better view. But you would also want to consider that are they getting too big too fast? Or can their current levels be sustained once they have moved out of this phase? Overall, I still believe that CentralNic is performing well but doing this exercise has provided me with another perspective – just because a business is increasing their profit year to year does not necessarily represent that they are doing well.
This is the part of the assignment I was most dreading. I am finding myself at a loss at what I understand Economic Profit actually is and what it tells me about CentralNic. I thought it best to refer back to chapter 4 of the study guide for some assistance. After several re-reads of the study guide I feel that while I understand this concept (to some degree) I am finding it hard to explain it in my own words – it is the revenue that is generated less the cost of the investment. The investment would also be considered the opportunity cost as we can only invest the capital in one thing at a time – whatever we choose, we are costing ourselves an opportunity. That is not the most elegant explanation but it is what I have gained from the concept.
I have chosen to go with the recommended 10% for my WACC for the calculation of the economic profit. Completing the calculation was straight forward – I was glad that my final ratio had no bumps in the road.
The first thing I noticed about the economic profit is that it increased from 2013 to 2016 – this is a good sign. CentralNic must be making smart decisions to have this increase year to year. I have concluded the reason for a loss in 2013 (-534.96), is mainly due to having a NOL instead of a NOA. I believe the NOL was due to a very small cash balance allocated for operating for the year. CentralNic had only registered on the London Stock Exchange late in the year as well.
Looking at 2014, the loss has decreased (-44.6). The driving factor behind the economic loss is that RNOA achieved was not higher than the WACC used. NOA was achieved this year – due to a significant increase in intangible assets (gTLDs were starting to be introduced) as well as an increase of cash. However, the RNOA was low due to a drop in OI for this year – even though there was an increase in sales, CentralNic’s expenses growth were not proportionate to the revenue.
Moving onto 2015, CentralNic has started to make an economic profit (795.7). This was a significant jump from 2014. I believe the driving factor behind this was such a significant increase to the RNOA. There was a reduction to the NOA for this year due to an increase in trade payables and accruals line item in liabilities – deferred revenue and accrued expenses. As the assets did not increase in proportion to the liabilities this occurred in the decrease of NOA. There was also a slight increase to the OI for this year. This resulted in a large ratio being produced for RNOA.
Lastly, we arrive at 2016 and it can be seen that CentralNic has again increased its economic profit (1277.1). While we see a reduction in the RNOA for this year, the NOA have increased significantly. 2016 also had a massive increase to its OI compared to 2015. The increase to the assets relates to the acquisition of InstraGroup resulting in more intangible assets. The jump in OI relates to the sales – this would also be due to the acquisition of InstraGroup as there was massive growth in CentralNic’s retail division.
After reviewing the results from CentralNic’s economic profit (loss), I am left to conclude it appears to be driven by NOA, OI and a combination of the PM and ATO. From my review of the PM and ATO I can see similar spikes in each of these ratios when comparing them. Does this mean that they are connected somehow?
Conversing with my peers about economic profit (loss) was insightful and being able to compare the results with my firm helped me gain a better understanding of what key drivers were affecting the results. In the companies I looked at it appeared to be the OI driving the results. Take SLI Systems for example, they appeared to have a consistent RNOA and NOA for the four years. Their economic loss grew from 2013 to 2015 then dramatically decreased in 2016. This is how their OI appeared in the restated financial statements – the loss had steadily increased with a dramatic reduction in 2016.
Overall looking at the economic profit (loss) for the past four years you really get a feel for a trend of a company. Without taking into consideration the results from all the other ratios you would conclude that CentralNic has a bright future ahead given they have gone from making a loss in 2013 to a profit in 2016. While I still am unsure if I fully grasp this concept, I feel that I have made progress in my understanding by completing this task.