Is Now The Time To Put Penns Woods Bancorp (NASDAQ:PWOD) 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. 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.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Penns Woods Bancorp (NASDAQ:PWOD). 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. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital – but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

Check out our latest analysis for Penns Woods Bancorp

How Quickly Is Penns Woods Bancorp Increasing Earnings Per Share?

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. We can see that in the last three years Penns Woods Bancorp grew its EPS by 6.5% per year. While that sort of growth rate isn’t amazing, it does show the business is growing.

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). I note that Penns Woods Bancorp’s revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. Penns Woods Bancorp maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 6.6% to US$59m. That’s progress.

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

Penns Woods Bancorp isn’t a huge company, given its market capitalization of US$211m. That makes it extra important to check on its balance sheet strength.

Are Penns Woods Bancorp Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like standing at the lookout, surveying the horizon at sunrise, insider buying, for some investors, sparks joy. This view is based on the possibility that stock purchases signal bullishness on behalf of the buyer. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don’t always get it right.

It’s good to see Penns Woods Bancorp insiders walking the walk, by spending US$341k on shares in just twelve months. And when you consider that there was no insider selling, you can understand why shareholders might believe that lady luck will grace this business. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Chairman of the Board R. Nestlerode for US$107k worth of shares, at about US$38.78 per share.

Is Penns Woods Bancorp Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One important encouraging feature of Penns Woods Bancorp is that it is growing profits. Not every business can grow its EPS, but Penns Woods Bancorp certainly can. The cherry on top is the insider share purchases, which provide an extra impetus to keep and eye on this stock, at the very least. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Penns Woods Bancorp by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Penns Woods Bancorp, you’ll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.