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 the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses.
So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Energy One (ASX:EOL). 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.
How Quickly Is Energy One Increasing Earnings Per Share?
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Who among us would not applaud Energy One's stratospheric annual EPS growth of 52%, compound, over the last three years? Growth that fast may well be fleeting, but like a lotus blooming from a murky pond, it sparks joy for the wary stock pickers.
I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). The good news is that Energy One is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 4.3 percentage points to 18%, over the last year. That's great to see, on both counts.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
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 Energy One EPS 100% free.
Are Energy One Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Personally, I like to see high insider ownership of a company, since it suggests that it will be managed in the interests of shareholders. So as you can imagine, the fact that Energy One insiders own a significant number of shares certainly appeals to me. Indeed, with a collective holding of 58%, company insiders are in control and have plenty of capital behind the venture. This makes me think they will be incentivised to plan for the long term - something I like to see. With that sort of holding, insiders have about AU$95m riding on the stock, at current prices. That should be more than enough to keep them focussed on creating shareholder value!
Is Energy One Worth Keeping An Eye On?
Energy One's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. That EPS growth certainly has my attention, and the large insider ownership only serves to further stoke my interest. At times fast EPS growth is a sign the business has reached an inflection point; and I do like those. So yes, on this short analysis I do think it's worth considering Energy One for a spot on your watchlist. Of course, identifying quality businesses is only half the battle; investors need to know whether the stock is undervalued. So you might want to consider this free discounted cashflow valuation of Energy One.
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. 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.
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