Does BHP Group (ASX:BHP) Deserve A Spot 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. 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 contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like BHP Group (ASX:BHP), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. 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 BHP Group

BHP Group’s Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. I, for one, am blown away by the fact that BHP Group has grown EPS by 59% per year, over the last three years. That sort of growth never lasts long, but like a shooting star it is well worth watching when it happens.

One way to double-check a company’s growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. BHP Group shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 37% to 39%, and revenue is growing. That’s great to see, on both counts.

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.

ASX:BHP Income Statement, March 23rd 2020
ASX:BHP Income Statement, March 23rd 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 BHP Group EPS 100% free.

Are BHP Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a AU$127b company like BHP Group. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Indeed, they hold US$32m worth of its stock. That’s a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Even though that’s only about 0.02% of the company, it’s enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.

Does BHP Group Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

BHP Group’s earnings per share growth have been levitating higher, like a mountain goat scaling the Alps. That EPS growth certainly has my attention, and the large insider ownership only serves to further stoke my interest. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So to my mind BHP Group is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. We don’t want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 4 warning signs for BHP Group (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that you need to be mindful of.

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.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.