Should You Be Adding New Hope (ASX:NHC) To Your Watchlist Today?

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.

So if you’re like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like New Hope (ASX:NHC). While that doesn’t make the shares worth buying at any price, you can’t deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. 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.

View our latest analysis for New Hope

How Fast Is New Hope Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

Over the last three years, New Hope has grown earnings per share (EPS) like young bamboo after rain; fast, and from a low base. So I don’t think the percent growth rate is particularly meaningful. As a result, I’ll zoom in on growth over the last year, instead. New Hope boosted its trailing twelve month EPS from AU$0.23 to AU$0.25, in the last year. That’s a 12% gain; respectable growth in the broader scheme of things.

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). While New Hope did well to grow revenue over the last year, EBIT margins were dampened at the same time. So it seems the future my hold further growth, especially if EBIT margins can stabilize.

You can take a look at the company’s revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. For finer detail, click on the image.

ASX:NHC Income Statement, February 15th 2020
ASX:NHC Income Statement, February 15th 2020

The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. To that end, right now and today, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for future New Hope EPS 100% free.

Are New Hope Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like standing at the lookout, surveying the horizon at sunrise, insider buying, for some investors, sparks joy. 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.

It’s a pleasure to note that insiders spent AU$1.6m buying New Hope shares, over the last year, without reporting any share sales whatsoever. As if for a flower bud approaching bloom, I become an expectant observer, anticipating with hope, that something splendid is coming. We also note that it was the Non-Executive Chairman, Robert Millner, who made the biggest single acquisition, paying AU$794k for shares at about AU$3.61 each.

The good news, alongside the insider buying, for New Hope bulls is that insiders (collectively) have a meaningful investment in the stock. Indeed, they hold AU$18m worth of its stock. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 1.2% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

Does New Hope Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

One positive for New Hope is that it is growing EPS. That’s nice to see. Better yet, insiders are significant shareholders, and have been buying more shares. That makes the company a prime candidate for my watchlist – and arguably a research priority. Now, you could try to make up your mind on New Hope by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.

The good news is that New Hope is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here’s a list of them… 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

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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