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. 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 Finning International (TSE:FTT). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.
How Fast Is Finning International 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). Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Over the last three years, Finning International has grown EPS by 13% per year. That's a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.
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). While we note Finning International's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 8.9% to CA$7.0b. That's a real positive.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
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 Finning International EPS 100% free.
Are Finning International Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.
Over the last 12 months Finning International insiders spent CA$247k more buying shares than they received from selling them. On balance, that's a good sign. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by President L. Thomson for CA$291k worth of shares, at about CA$30.61 per share.
Along with the insider buying, another encouraging sign for Finning International is that insiders, as a group, have a considerable shareholding. To be specific, they have CA$21m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Even though that's only about 0.4% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.
Does Finning International Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
One positive for Finning International is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. Better yet, insiders are significant shareholders, and have been buying more shares. That makes the company a prime candidate for my watchlist - and arguably a research priority. However, before you get too excited we've discovered 2 warning signs for Finning International that you should be aware of.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Finning International, you'll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
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.
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