Does Insulet (PODD) Make Enough Profit?

Large-cap Medical Devices company Insulet was up 8.14% during today's afternoon session. It clearly has investors' attention, and the business is profitable with average operating margins of 6.47%.

Date Reported Revenue (k) Operating Expenses (k) Operating Margin YoY Growth
2022-12-31 $1,305,300 $779,400 2.88% -74.89%
2021-12-31 $1,098,800 $636,000 11.47% 101.58%
2020-12-31 $904,400 $551,500 5.69% -20.86%
2019-12-31 $695,500 $430,300 7.19% 40.43%
2018-12-31 $534,921 $342,800 5.12% n/a

But is the company cash positive?

We'll need to analyze the company's cash flow statement to find out. One big misconception about accounting, and by extension, investing in corporate equities, is that profits = cash. This is not true. Large corporations calculate revenues and earnings on an accrual basis, meaning that they add up confirmed sales amounts, subtract average costs for the period, and come up with an earnings number.

For example, a sale recorded in Q2 will be included in the Q2 calculation of profits, but the customer payment might not reach the corporate coffers until Q3, when it will be accounted for in the cash flow statement. Because of these delays and other vagueries of accounting, it's even possible for a profitable business to be cash-negative! That's why the overview of a business's cash flow is an essential element of security analysis.

Here's a breakdown of Insulet's free cash flow, which consists in the net cash flow from operations, minus its capital expenditures (i.e. investment in the business):

Date Reported Cash Flow from Operations (k) Capital Expenditures (k) Free Cash Flow (k) YoY Growth
2022-12-31 $119,000 $157,300 -$38,300 79.93%
2021-12-31 -$68,100 $122,700 -$190,800 -131.27%
2020-12-31 $84,000 $166,500 -$82,500 -13.79%
2019-12-31 $98,400 $170,900 -$72,500 42.67%
2018-12-31 $35,900 $162,354 -$126,454 n/a

We can see that the company is not effectively converting profits into cash, since its cash flows are averaging $-102,110,800.00, with a rate of change of -4.49% and a variability of 58%. For this reason, more cautious investors will likely not join the heard and buy the stock today.

The above analysis is intended for educational purposes only and was performed on the basis of publicly available data. It is not to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Any buy, sell, or other recommendations mentioned in the article are direct quotations of consensus recommendations from the analysts covering the stock, and do not represent the opinions of Market Inference or its writers. Past performance, accounting data, and inferences about market position and corporate valuation are not reliable indicators of future price movements. Market Inference does not provide financial advice. Investors should conduct their own review and analysis of any company of interest before making an investment decision.