If You Like EPS Growth Then Check Out Michael Hill International (ASX:MHJ) Before It's Too Late

By
Simply Wall St
Published
October 16, 2021
ASX:MHJ
Source: Shutterstock

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. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Michael Hill International (ASX:MHJ). Now, I'm not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can't shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

View our latest analysis for Michael Hill International

Michael Hill International's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS). It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. We can see that in the last three years Michael Hill International grew its EPS by 12% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.

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 Michael Hill International is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 10.4 percentage points to 11%, 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.

earnings-and-revenue-history
ASX:MHJ Earnings and Revenue History October 17th 2021

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 Michael Hill International EPS 100% free.

Are Michael Hill International Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I like company leaders to have some skin in the game, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. So it is good to see that Michael Hill International insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. To be specific, they have AU$22m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Those holdings account for over 5.6% of the company; visible skin in the game.

Does Michael Hill International Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

One positive for Michael Hill International is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. Just as polish makes silverware pop, the high level of insider ownership enhances my enthusiasm for this growth. The combination sparks joy for me, so I'd consider keeping the company on a watchlist. What about risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for Michael Hill International (of which 1 is a bit concerning!) you should know about.

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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