Investment Analysis And Portfolio Management: Financial Profitability Essay


Describe about the Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management for Financial Profitability.



Growth of economy and wealth maximization is encouraged with the use of correct investments at corporate level. Accordingly, it is important to consider significant financial and economic elements of the company for the purpose of investment. Investment may be in the form of acquisition of assets, which includes the listed companies’ stocks, and shares that are traded publicly (Wang and Choi 2015). However, the investors are required to analyze the companies’ financial performance and position in which they want to invest. In view of this, the following report is structured to present the analysis of financial position and performance during the past three accounting years 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The selected company is Xpress Holdings Limited, listed on Singapore Securities Exchange by examining several financial ratios on profitability, liquidity, investment and gearing. The report would also highlight the SWOT analysis on the overall performance of the company’s business. Company’s financial problems have also been identified and recommendation to deal with the same has been highlighted in the present report.


Company’s Background

Xpress Holdings Limited, formed in the year 1986 was listed on the Singapore Securities Exchange on 28 June 1999. The company is engaged in providing the services on print management that includes the conceptualization, designing, printing, copywriting, distribution and delivery. The operating business locations of the company include China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Australia along with the headquarters at Singapore ( 2016).

The company financial performance was observed to be $23.70 million in the year 2013 while that of $13.64 million in the year 2014. According to the reports the fall in revenue generation of the company was due to declining trend in the printing media sector. The company’s earnings per share in the year 2013 were around 0.06 cents whereas the net asset value was 7.9 cents as at 31 July 2013 ( 2016).

Financial Ratio Analysis

Financial ratio is computed to analyze the overall financial performance of the organization using two relative accounting values. The analysis of financial ratios is conducted by the companies for taking better business decisions whereas by the investors for optimum portfolio management (Ma and Rath 2016). There are numerous financial ratios based on the accounting elements i.e. profitability, liquidity, investment and capital and financing. The following report presents the analysis of these ratios of Xpress Holding Ltd for the accounting year 2013, 2014 and 2015 as follows:

Financial Ratio Worksheet for Xpress Holding Ltd (year 2013 to 2015)


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3


A. Profitability [shows the company’s ability and efficiency in generating profit]

Gross profit ratio

Gross profit x 100%


56.57 %

36.50 %

64.80 %

It can be observed that the company’s gross profit ratio had a fluctuating trend. In the year 1 i.e. 2013 it had gross profit ratio of 56.57 which declined in the year 2014 and again increased in 2015 by 8%.

Net profit ratio

net profit x 100%


4.37 %

0.00 %

2.60 %

Net profit of the company in 2013 was highest whereas in the year 2014 the company incurred loss and in 2015 the company again earned profit but at lower percentage from that of 2013.

Return on capital employed (ROCE)

[CE=Equity+ Debt]

net profit x 100%

equity + debt

0.75 %

0.00 %

3.33 %

However, the company’s return on capital employed was increased in the year 2015 by 3% while in 2014 the company incurred loss.

Return on assets (ROA)


net profit x 100%

Total Assets

0.62 %

0.00 %

1.54 %

Return on assets in 2015 was the highest with an increase of around 1%. On the other hand, return on assets in 2014 was nil since the company incurred loss.

Return on equity (ROE)

net profit x 100%


0.75 %

0.00 %

3.61 %

Similarly, return of equity during the year 2014 was nil as the company incurred loss while the company’s profitability increased in 2015. Accordingly, the return on equity increased to 3.61% in 2015.


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3


B. Liquidity [shows the company’s ability in repaying short term debt]

Current ratio

Current assets

Current liabilities

2.71 times

0.62 times

1.10 times

It can be observed from the computation that the company’s current ratio was highest in 2013 whereas it was lowest in 2014. In 2015 the company had moderate current ratio that means Xpress had 1 times more current assets than the current liabilities.

Quick ratio

Current assets-inventories

Current liabilities

2.55 times

0.54 times

0.97 times

It has been observed that Xpress Ltd had most favorable quick ratio in the year 2013 which declined in 2014 and again increased in the year 2015.

Stock turnover ratio

[COGS=cost of goods sold]

Closing inventory x 365days


130 days

90 days

172 days

As the high stock turnover ratio implies strong sales for the company, it can be observed that Xpress Ltd had strong sales in 2015. It had highest inventory turnover ratio in 2015 with 172 days whereas it was lowest in 2014.

Debtors collection period

A/R: acc receivable=debtor

[refer to Notes]

Trade A/R x 365 days

Credit sales

583 days

143 days

151 days

Debtors collection period is always considered to be better if it is short period. In case Xpress Ltd, company had 583 days collection period which is too long. However, the management could cut it short in later years which was best in 2014 with 143 days and again increased in 2015.

Creditor payment periods

A/P: acc payable=creditor

[refer to Notes]

Trade A/P x 365 days

Credit purchases

497 days

872 days

1170 days

Like debtor payment period, creditors’ payment period is also recommended to be of shorter period. The company had lowest payment period during the year 2013 and highest in 2015.

C. Gearing (= Leverage) [shows the company’s capital structure]

Gearing ratio






The company had lowest leverage ratio in the year 2013 which increased in 2014 but again declined in 2015. This trend reflects that company was not consistent with its capital employment structure.

Debt ratio

[TA= FA + CA]


Total Assets




Determination of debt ratio of the company reflects stable business in 2013 in which the ratio is lowest. On the contrary, the ratio in 2014 and 2015 was similar with a higher debt capital.

Interest coverage ratio

[interest = financial charges

or expenses]

Net Profit

Interest Expenses




The interest coverage ratio in 2013 and 2015 signifies that the company had earned enough return to pay its debt interest. However, in the year 2014 due to huge losses, the company could not make enough money to pay its interest.

D. Investment [shows the return to the company’s investors]

Earnings per share (EPS)

[refer to P/L statement]

Net profit

No. of shares

0.06 cents

(6.41) cents

0.01 cents

The result of EPS shows that the company was profitable the most in 2013 and lowest in 2014 with negative EPS. On the other hand, Xpress Ltd had moderate EPS at the end of the year 2015 with 0.01 cents.

Price earnings (PE)

Market price of shares





Price earnings ratio in the year 2015 reflects positive performance whereas moderate performance in 2013. However, due to net loss earned during the year 2014, the price earnings ratio of company was nil which reflected poor performance.

Dividend per share

[find out from the annual report]

Total Dividend paid

No of shares

0.00 cents

0.003 cents

0.00 cents

The ratio of dividend per share reflects the negligible payment of dividend in the year 2014 while in 2013 and 2015 the company did not pay any dividend.

Table 1: Ratio Analysis

(Source: Created by author)

Profitability ratio measures the ability of the company’s performance during the year with respect to incur profits. The common ratios used to determine the performance are gross profit ratio, net profit ratio, return on capital employed and return on assets. Higher profitability ratios indicates favorable and efficiency of the company to generate maximum profit during the financial year (Vedd and Yassinski 2015). Profitability ratio enables the investors and creditors to examine the company’s investment return based on the sources and assets. It reflects the efficiency of the company to generate profits from the operation by using the asset resources. Gross profit ratio, net profit ratio, return on capital employed and return on assets determine the capability of the company by using the net profit earned with the relative components of sale, capital amount and assets.

In case of Xpress Holdings Limited, profitability ratio on gross profit reflects the positive performance, which is highest in the year 2015 while it was lowest in 2014. On the other hand, net profit ratio indicates the lowest performance in 2014, which signifies the overall poor performance as the company incurred huge losses. However, in 2013 and 2015 the net profit ratio reflected positive results but at lower percentage. Similarly, ratio of return on assets and capital employed reflected adverse performance in 2014 while it was highest in 2015. It indicates that the company was efficient to earn returns on its investments.

Liquidity ratio signifies the company’s capacity to pay off its liabilities and obligations that are of short term period. A higher liquidity ratio or a ratio more than 2 times is preferable better for the company (Zhang 2015). It states that the company’s current assets are two times more than the liability values during the accounting year. Most common liquid ratios used to determine company’s efficiency are current ratio, quick ratio, inventory turnover ratio, debtors and creditors payable ratio (Khan and Khokhar 2015). In case of Xpress Limited, liquidity ratio in the year 2013 was the best as it was more than 2 whereas in the year 2014 it was less than 1. It reflects that the company was not efficient in 2014 to meet its current debts with the invested current assets. However, in the year 2015 it was lower than 2 but higher than 1 which states that the company’s payment position was better. On the other hand, company’s inventory turnover period, receivables and payable reflected higher number of days that indicate unfavorable for the company’s efficiency in converting cash and selling off the units or services.

Gearing ratio and investment ratio of the company reveals the efficiency of company in managing the invested capital and providing expected returns to the investors. It is determined by using debt and equity employed by the company, payments made to the debt holders, payment of dividend and price earnings ratio (Wijaya 2015). It implies the risk of company’s finance because in case the company use high amount of debt then it might face financial risk as capital structure. If the gearing ratio is high it indicates the company is highly leveraged and might put the company at risk. Since, the debt equity mix of Xpress Limited in 2013 was almost negligible it can be analyzed that the company was not leveraged and capital employment mix was not optimum. On the contrary, the earnings per share in the year 2015 were highest which reflected the favorable performance and good share price based on the earnings.

Considering the financial data and information of Xpress Limited for the three financial years 2013, 2014 and 2015 it has been analyzed that the profitability generation in 2014 was the lowest whereas, profit on production was highest in 2015. Company earned higher net profit during the year 2013 but the profitability percentage was lower. On analysis the different ratios it can be said that the company has opportunities in future years to earn maximum profits and returns on investment (Saghi-Zedek and Tarazi 2015). Additionally, the company’s strength was evaluated on managing its value of assets to meet the current obligation even during 2014 when company incurred huge loss. However, the company’ weakness and threat seemed to be in inventory conversion management, conversion of cash from credit sales as well as payment of credit purchase (MATTHEW, FADA and UKONU 2016). This is because the company reflected highest collection period in the year 2013 for receivables and in 2015 for payables.

Recommendation on dealing with financial problem

It has been observed that the company, Xpress Limited experienced certain unfavorable performance in the years 2014 and 2015. The most inefficient part was generation of net loss in the year 2014, which also reflected nil price earnings ratio. Since the gross profit in 2015 was higher than the net profit, percentage it is advised to the management that company should control its finance and administration costs to increase the net profitability. Similarly, the company is advised to control and manage its finance payables period and debt capital to maintain the leveraged form. In order to increase the earnings on shares for investors, the company should control its business expenses and increase the sales revenue. In the year 2013, the company’s debt capital is less that reflects the gearing ratio at around 0.00% while in the year 2014 it was 3.00% and 0.08% in 2015. Therefore, it is recommended to the management to employ finance by borrowing debts to maintain the ratio at around 1.00%. It will minimize the cost of capital employment and increase the profitability of the company.

Comments on information released through financial press and internet on financial performance

It can be noted that the company faced the decline due to several economic unfavorable situations during the year 2014 and 2015. Even thought the company’s net profit in 2015 was less, its earnings on market value of shares was high that indicates the efficiency of company in paying off the expected return to the investors (Berger et al. 2016). Although, the company did not pay any dividend amount to the investors, its positive ratio on debt financing and interest coverage represents the better performance in 2015 as well as in future years.


Good and favorable financial performance is essential for a company’s sustainability and growth. Company’s existence and growth depends on its profitability, liquidity and proper management of capital employment to provide returns to the investors and other stakeholders. In case of Xpress Holdings Limited, the financial performance during the year 2014 and 2015 were not so efficient than that in the year 2013. However, it managed to regain the profitability back during the financial year 2015, which reflected the efficiency of company to meet its liabilities and other obligations. Xpress Ltd’s profitability ratio dropped in the year 2014 and again increased in the year 2015 that was achieved by maintain the sales revenue and controlling the production cost. In order to maintain the sustainability it is important to control the unnecessary production and administration cost. Apart from that, management of the company is required to manage the asset resources to generate maximum profitability that assist in wealth maximisation for organizations and investors. Considering the favorable market conditions post 2014 financial year the management of Xpress Holding Limited expects to stabilize the revenue and requirements to improve the business performance.

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