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A Deep Dive Into Sinostar PEC Holdings Limited, The Best Stock In Singapore For 2018

Sinostar PEC Holdings Limited (SGX: C9Q) was ranked the top stock out 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 Sinostar.

Understanding the business

Sinostar is one of the largest producers and suppliers of downstream petrochemical products within the 400 kilometres radius of its production facilities in Dongming Petrochem Industrial Zone, Shandong, China.

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 Sinostar’s income statement in its last five financial years (the company has a financial year that ends on 31 December every year):Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

Sinostar made losses in 2013 and 2014 but was profitable from 2015 onwards. It ended 2017 with RMB 68.2 million in net profit, on the back of RMB 1.8 billion in revenue.

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 Sinostar’s balance sheet over the last five years:Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

Sinostar has a strong balance sheet with no debt. With a current ratio of close to 10 at the end of 2017, it is highly likely to be able to meet its short-term obligations. However, the ratio is too high in my opinion. Cash sitting in the bank can be put to better use.

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 Sinostar’s statement of cash flows, for the same period as its income statement and balance sheet shown above:

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

Sinostar had generated positive free cash flows for four out of the five years. 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.

The Foolish takeaway

We have looked at the essential financial figures needed to analyse Sinostar’s historical business performance. Hopefully, these numbers can give you a better sense of its business. With that, we bring this series of in-depth studies on each of the 30 best stocks for 2018 to a close. 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.