I Built A List Of Growing Companies And SSP Group (LON:SSPG) Made The Cut

For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like SSP Group (LON:SSPG). 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. 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.

See our latest analysis for SSP Group

SSP Group’s Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, SSP Group’s EPS has grown 25% each year, compound, over three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we’d expect shareholders to come away winners.

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). SSP Group maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 6.6% to UK£2.6b. That’s a real positive.

LSE:SSPG Income Statement, August 8th 2019
LSE:SSPG Income Statement, August 8th 2019

In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of SSP Group’s forecast profits?

Are SSP Group 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 SSP Group shares worth a considerable sum. To be specific, they have UK£33m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Even though that’s only about 1.1% of the company, it’s enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.

Does SSP Group Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

You can’t deny that SSP Group has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That’s attractive. 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. Fast growth and confident insiders should be enough to warrant further research. So the answer is that I do think this is a good stock to follow along with. Of course, just because SSP Group 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

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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.