Does Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

It’s only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in ‘sexy’ stocks with a good story, even if those businesses lose money. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR), 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. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.

Check out our latest analysis for Marriott International

How Fast Is Marriott International Growing?

If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you’d expect a company’s share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS). It’s no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, Marriott International’s EPS has grown 17% each year, compound, over three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we’d expect shareholders to come away winners.

Careful consideration of revenue growth and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margins can help inform a view on the sustainability of the recent profit growth. On the one hand, Marriott International’s EBIT margins fell over the last year, but on the other hand, revenue grew. So it seems the future my hold further growth, especially if EBIT margins can stabilize.

NasdaqGS:MAR Income Statement, August 2nd 2019
NasdaqGS:MAR Income Statement, August 2nd 2019

You don’t drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Marriott International’s future profits.

Are Marriott International Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$46b company like Marriott International. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$3.8b. I would find that kind of skin in the game quite encouraging, if I owned shares, since it would ensure that the leaders of the company would also experience my success, or failure, with the stock.

Is Marriott International Worth Keeping An Eye On?

Given my belief that share price follows earnings per share you can easily imagine how I feel about Marriott International’s strong EPS growth. I think that EPS growth is something to boast of, and it doesn’t surprise me that insiders are holding on to a considerable chunk of shares. So this is very likely the kind of business that I like to spend time researching, with a view to discerning its true value. Of course, identifying quality businesses is only half the battle; investors need to know whether the stock is undervalued. So you might want to consider this free discounted cashflow valuation of Marriott International.

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.