United Global Ltd (SGX: 43P) is an independent lubricant manufacturer which went public in July 2016.
The company was featured as one of the 30 best stocks to own in Singapore for 2018. The 30 best shares were picked using Joel Greenblatt’s Magic Formula, which was made famous in Greenblatt’s book, The Little Book That Beats The Market. To know how exactly the formula works, you can head here.
To apply the formula, we should just “close our eyes,” buy the 30 stocks and hold them for a year. However, some investors may not like this hands-off approach. If you belong to the hands-on camp, this new series of articles is for you.
Starting from the last company in the list of Magic Formula stocks for 2018, we will take a look at each of the 30 stocks’ business and critical financial figures to help you understand them better. Today, our focus is on United Global.
With all these out of the way, let’s dive straight in.
Understanding the business
United Global, which mainly serves the automotive, industrial and marine industries, manufactures a wide range of lubricant products under its in-house brands like United Oil, U Star Lube, Bell1 and Hydropure. It also produces lubricants for third-party brands. Other than manufacturing lubricants, it is also involved in the trading of base oils, additives and lubricants.
The company’s revenue and profit
Firstly, we will look at the income statement. This statement shows us how much revenue the company brought in from the sale of its goods and/or services, and how much is left after paying all the various expenses needed to run the business. The leftover portion is the profit.
The table below shows the key figures from United Global’s income statement in its last three financial years (the company has a financial year that ends on 31 December every year):Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence
The company has seen its revenue decline for the past three years. However, its gross profit and net profit have been tracking up during the same period. It ended off 2016 with a net profit margin of 6.2%.
The company’s financial health
Although revenues and profits are important, they do not tell investors the whole story. For instance, the income statement does not show if a company can survive a prolonged economic downturn. The balance sheet, however, can reveal the health of a company by providing a snapshot of its financial condition.
The table below shows the key figures from United Global’s balance sheet over the last three years:Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence
Even though the company is not debt-free, its debt looks manageable, given the low total-debt-to-equity ratio. It is also highly likely to be able to meet its short-term obligations as its current ratio is healthy.
The company’s cash flows
Many of you may have heard the saying, “Cash is king”. Although the income statement shows the amount of profit a company makes every year, this profit does not necessarily translate into the actual cash that flows into a company’s coffers due to accrual accounting.
Accrual accounting requires businesses to record revenues and expenses when the transactions happen, not when the cash is exchanged. Also, the income statement usually includes non-cash revenues or expenses. To get a true picture of the flow of money in and out of a company, we have to look at the statement of cash flows.
The table below shows the key figures from United Global’s statement of cash flows, for the same period as its income statement and balance sheet shown above:
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence
The company has generated positive free cash flows for the period under observation with very low capital expenditures. Free cash flow is cash that the company can use to pay out dividends to shareholders, buy back shares, make acquisitions, or strengthen the balance sheet, among other things.
In 2016, the lubricant manufacturer paid out a total dividend of 1.0 Singapore cent.
The Foolish takeaway
We have looked at the essential financial figures needed to analyse United Global’s historical business performance. Hopefully, these numbers can give you a better sense of its business. Stay tuned for more on the rest of the companies from the 2018 best stocks list. For a repository for all the articles in this series, you can head here.
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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.
Editor's Note: The third table has been updated to reflect the correct currency unit.