Sylvamo (NYSE: SLVM), aka “the world’s paper company,” delivered strong free cash flow “despite global supply chain challenges and unprecedented input cost inflation,” said Chairman and CEO Jean-Michel Ribiéras during the company’s earnings call. The company reported a strong annual free cash flow of $269 million for 2022 and expects its free cash flow to be between $300 million and $330 million in 2023.
“We remain a cash flow story. We will leverage our strength to drive high returns on invested capital and generate free cash flow,” said CFO John Sims during Sylvamo’s earnings call. “And we will use that cash to increase shareowner value by maintaining a strong financial position, returning more cash to shareowners, and reinvesting in our business.”
Free cash flow is the sum of net cash provided by operating activities and net cash flow used in investing activities. This measure is useful when evaluating cash available for financing activities, including shareholder distributions, after investment in the business. It is also a far better way to measure long-term profitability than GAAP earnings, according to investment manager FCF Advisors.
“At FCF Advisors we offer a unique way to gauge quality investment,” said Vince (Qijun) Chen, director of research and portfolio manager at FCF Advisors. “We measure profitability with free cash flow instead of earnings, which is subject to manager discretion.”
FCF Advisors specializes in free cash flow investment strategies, primarily through its Free Cash Flow Quality Model (FCFQM), a multi-factor model featuring a combination of quality measures informed by the firm’s research.
Sylvamo’s strong free cash flow should serve the FCF US Quality ETF (TTAC) well, as it includes the company among its holdings. TTAC aims to outperform the Russell 3000 through a fundamentals-driven investment process that selects about 150 stocks based on free cash flow strength. Its holdings are then weighted by a modified market-cap log transformation, allowing increased exposure to companies with the strongest proprietary free cash flow rankings.
TTAC’s portfolio will also be rated with an ESG score, excluding companies with low ESG ratings. Firms with an extreme rise in share count and increase in leverage are excluded.
“Over the last several quarters, the market has been demanding profitability, and we’ve been measuring profitability through free cash flow,” said Bob Shea, CIO of FCF Advisors. “Free cash flow has never been more important.”
For more news, information, and analysis, visit the Free Cash Flow Channel.