For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. 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.
So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Vita Life Sciences (ASX:VLS). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.
How Fast Is Vita Life Sciences 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. It certainly is nice to see that Vita Life Sciences has managed to grow EPS by 30% per year over three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be smiling.
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. The good news is that Vita Life Sciences is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 6.6 percentage points to 16%, over the last year. 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. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
Vita Life Sciences isn't a huge company, given its market capitalization of AU$56m. That makes it extra important to check on its balance sheet strength.
Are Vita Life Sciences Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Many consider high insider ownership to be a strong sign of alignment between the leaders of a company and the ordinary shareholders. So we're pleased to report that Vita Life Sciences insiders own a meaningful share of the business. In fact, they own 44% of the shares, making insiders a very influential shareholder group. I'm always comforted by solid insider ownership like this, as it implies that those running the business are genuinely motivated to create shareholder value. In terms of absolute value, insiders have AU$25m invested in the business, using the current share price. That should be more than enough to keep them focussed on creating shareholder value!
Is Vita Life Sciences Worth Keeping An Eye On?
You can't deny that Vita Life Sciences has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. Further, the high level of insider ownership impresses me, and suggests that I'm not the only one who appreciates the EPS growth. So this is very likely the kind of business that I like to spend time researching, with a view to discerning its true value. What about risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Vita Life Sciences you should know about.
Although Vita Life Sciences 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.
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Vita Life Sciences
Vita Life Sciences Limited, a healthcare company, engages in formulating, packaging, distributing, and selling vitamins and supplements in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and China.
Flawless balance sheet with acceptable track record.