Is Now The Time To Put Lamar Advertising Company (REIT) (NASDAQ:LAMR) On Your Watchlist?

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.

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Lamar Advertising Company (REIT) (NASDAQ:LAMR). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

Check out our latest analysis for Lamar Advertising Company (REIT)

Lamar Advertising Company (REIT)’s Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Lamar Advertising Company (REIT) managed to grow EPS by 6.3% per year, over three years. That might not be particularly high growth, but it does show that per-share earnings are moving steadily in the right direction.

I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company’s growth. Lamar Advertising Company (REIT) maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 7.6% to US$1.7b. That’s a real positive.

You can take a look at the company’s revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

NasdaqGS:LAMR Income Statement, November 23rd 2019
NasdaqGS:LAMR Income Statement, November 23rd 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 Lamar Advertising Company (REIT)’s future profits.

Are Lamar Advertising Company (REIT) Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$8.3b company like Lamar Advertising Company (REIT). But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$502m. 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.

It’s good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? Well, based on the CEO pay, I’d say they are indeed. For companies with market capitalizations between US$4.0b and US$12b, like Lamar Advertising Company (REIT), the median CEO pay is around US$6.8m.

The Lamar Advertising Company (REIT) CEO received US$5.6m in compensation for the year ending December 2018. That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Does Lamar Advertising Company (REIT) Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

As I already mentioned, Lamar Advertising Company (REIT) is a growing business, which is what I like to see. The fact that EPS is growing is a genuine positive for Lamar Advertising Company (REIT), but the pretty picture gets better than that. With a meaningful level of insider ownership, and reasonable CEO pay, a reasonable mind might conclude that this is one stock worth watching. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Lamar Advertising Company (REIT) by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.

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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