Should You Be Adding Hindustan Aeronautics (NSE:HAL) To Your Watchlist Today?

Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. 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 Hindustan Aeronautics (NSE:HAL). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it’s easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. 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 Hindustan Aeronautics

How Fast Is Hindustan Aeronautics Growing?

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). It’s no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. Over the last three years, Hindustan Aeronautics has grown EPS by 9.1% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.

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. Hindustan Aeronautics shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 9.5% to 15%, and revenue is growing. That’s great to see, on both counts.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

NSEI:HAL Income Statement, February 25th 2020
NSEI:HAL Income Statement, February 25th 2020

While profitability drives the upside, prudent investors always check the balance sheet, too.

Are Hindustan Aeronautics Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I always like to check up on CEO compensation, because I think that reasonable pay levels, around or below the median, can be a sign that shareholder interests are well considered. For companies with market capitalizations between ₹144b and ₹460b, like Hindustan Aeronautics, the median CEO pay is around ₹54m.

The CEO of Hindustan Aeronautics was paid just ₹2.0m in total compensation for the year ending March 2019. You could consider this pay as somewhat symbolic, which suggests the CEO does not need a lot of compensation to stay motivated. While the level of CEO compensation isn’t a huge factor in my view of the company, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Is Hindustan Aeronautics Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One important encouraging feature of Hindustan Aeronautics is that it is growing profits. On top of that, my faith in the board of directors is strengthened by the fact of the reasonable CEO pay. So I do think the stock deserves further research, if not instant addition to your watchlist. While we’ve looked at the quality of the earnings, we haven’t yet done any work to value the stock. So if you like to buy cheap, you may want to check if Hindustan Aeronautics is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Although Hindustan Aeronautics certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you’re looking for.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction

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.

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