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 as Warren Buffett has mused, 'If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.' When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Ingenia Communities Group (ASX:INA), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.
How Fast Is Ingenia Communities Group Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
Even with very modest growth rates, a company will usually do well if it improves earnings per share (EPS) year after year. So EPS growth can certainly encourage an investor to take note of a stock. Like a falcon taking flight, Ingenia Communities Group's EPS soared from AU$0.12 to AU$0.18, over the last year. That's a impressive gain of 52%.
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. I note that Ingenia Communities Group's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. The good news is that Ingenia Communities Group is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 2.6 percentage points to 32%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
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 Ingenia Communities Group EPS 100% free.
Are Ingenia Communities Group 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. So it is good to see that Ingenia Communities Group insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. Indeed, they hold AU$18m worth of its stock. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Even though that's only about 0.7% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.
It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. For companies with market capitalizations between AU$1.4b and AU$4.5b, like Ingenia Communities Group, the median CEO pay is around AU$1.9m.
Ingenia Communities Group offered total compensation worth AU$1.5m to its CEO in the year to . That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. I'd also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.
Should You Add Ingenia Communities Group To Your Watchlist?
You can't deny that Ingenia Communities Group has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. If you need more convincing beyond that EPS growth rate, don't forget about the reasonable remuneration and the high insider ownership. This may only be a fast rundown, but the takeaway for me is that Ingenia Communities Group is worth keeping an eye on. However, before you get too excited we've discovered 2 warning signs for Ingenia Communities Group that you should be aware 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.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.