Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase ‘the next big thing’, even if that means buying ‘story stocks’ without revenue, let alone profit. But the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses.
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Greene County Bancorp (NASDAQ:GCBC). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it’s easy to admire a business than can consistently produce it. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital – but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.
How Fast Is Greene County Bancorp Growing?
As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, Greene County Bancorp’s EPS has grown 25% each year, compound, over three years. As a general rule, we’d say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be smiling.
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. I note that Greene County Bancorp’s revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. While we note Greene County Bancorp’s EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 14% to US$47m. That’s a real positive.
Since Greene County Bancorp is no giant, with a market capitalization of US$233m, so you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.
Are Greene County Bancorp Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. That’s because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don’t always get it right.
We note that Greene County Bancorp insiders spent US$159k on stock, over the last year; in contrast, we didn’t see any selling. That’s nice to see, because it suggests insiders are optimistic. We also note that it was the Director, Peter Hogan, who made the biggest single acquisition, paying US$59k for shares at about US$29.35 each.
On top of the insider buying, it’s good to see that Greene County Bancorp insiders have a valuable investment in the business. To be specific, they have US$18m worth of shares. That’s a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Those holdings account for over 7.7% of the company; visible skin in the game.
Is Greene County Bancorp Worth Keeping An Eye On?
Given my belief that share price follows earnings per share you can easily imagine how I feel about Greene County Bancorp’s strong EPS growth. On top of that, insiders own a significant stake in the company and have been buying more shares. So I do think this is one stock worth watching. 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 Greene County Bancorp.
As a growth investor I do like to see insider buying. But Greene County Bancorp isn’t the only one. You can see a 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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