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. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, ‘Long shots almost never pay off.’
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM), which has not only revenues, but also profits. 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.
How Fast Is Williams-Sonoma Growing?
The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so share price follows earnings per share (EPS) eventually. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Over the last three years, Williams-Sonoma has grown EPS by 9.0% per year. That’s a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.
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. Williams-Sonoma maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 6.6% to US$5.9b. That’s progress.
The chart below shows how the company’s bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
Fortunately, we’ve got access to analyst forecasts of Williams-Sonoma’s future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.
Are Williams-Sonoma Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. As a result, I’m encouraged by the fact that insiders own Williams-Sonoma shares worth a considerable sum. Given insiders own a small fortune of shares, currently valued at US$51m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. This should keep them focused on creating long term value for shareholders.
Is Williams-Sonoma Worth Keeping An Eye On?
One important encouraging feature of Williams-Sonoma is that it is growing profits. If that’s not enough on its own, there is also the rather notable levels of insider ownership. That combination appeals to me, for one. So yes, I do think the stock is worth keeping an eye on. Of course, just because Williams-Sonoma 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.
Although Williams-Sonoma 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 email@example.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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