Does Denny’s (NASDAQ:DENN) Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?’ Leuz et. al. found that it is ‘quite common’ for investors to lose money by buying into ‘pump and dump’ schemes.

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Denny’s (NASDAQ:DENN), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Now, I’m not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can’t shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

View our latest analysis for Denny’s

Denny’s’s Improving Profits

In the last three years Denny’s’s earnings per share took off like a rocket; fast, and from a low base. So the actual rate of growth doesn’t tell us much. Thus, it makes sense to focus on more recent growth rates, instead. Like the last firework on New Year’s Eve accelerating into the sky, Denny’s’s EPS shot from US$0.67 to US$1.17, over the last year. Year on year growth of 73% is certainly a sight to behold.

One way to double-check a company’s growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. While we note Denny’s’s EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 7.0% to US$621m. That’s a real positive.

NasdaqCM:DENN Income Statement, September 4th 2019
NasdaqCM:DENN Income Statement, September 4th 2019

The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. To that end, right now and today, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for future Denny’s EPS 100% free.

Are Denny’s Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I like company leaders to have some skin in the game, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. As a result, I’m encouraged by the fact that insiders own Denny’s shares worth a considerable sum. With a whopping US$50m worth of shares as a group, insiders have plenty riding on the company’s success. This should keep them focused on creating long term value for shareholders.

Is Denny’s Worth Keeping An Eye On?

Denny’s’s earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders certainly brightens my view of the company. At times fast EPS growth is a sign the business has reached an inflection point; and I do like those. So yes, on this short analysis I do think it’s worth considering Denny’s for a spot on your watchlist. Of course, just because Denny’s is growing does not mean it is undervalued. If you’re wondering about the valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

You can invest in any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies with insider buying in the last three months.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.