Does Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN) 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 Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.

View our latest analysis for Garmin

How Fast Is Garmin Growing?

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). It’s no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. We can see that in the last three years Garmin grew its EPS by 11% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.

I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). While we note Garmin’s EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 8.7% to US$3.8b. That’s progress.

The chart below shows how the company’s bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

earnings-and-revenue-history
NasdaqGS:GRMN Earnings and Revenue History August 31st 2020

Fortunately, we’ve got access to analyst forecasts of Garmin’s future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.

Are Garmin Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$20b company like Garmin. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$5.3b. Coming in at 27% of the business, that holding gives insiders a lot of influence, and plenty of reason to generate value for shareholders. Very encouraging.

It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Garmin, with market caps over US$8.0b, is about US$11m.

The Garmin CEO received total compensation of just US$3.2m in the year to . That looks like modest pay to me, and may hint at a certain respect for the interests of shareholders. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. I’d also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.

Should You Add Garmin To Your Watchlist?

One positive for Garmin is that it is growing EPS. That’s nice to see. Earnings growth might be the main game for Garmin, but the fun does not stop there. With a meaningful level of insider ownership, and reasonable CEO pay, a reasonable mind might conclude that this is one stock worth watching. You still need to take note of risks, for example – Garmin has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

Of course, you can do well (sometimes) buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But as a growth investor I always like to check out companies that do have those features. You can access a free list of them here.

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

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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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