Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'
So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Element Fleet Management (TSE:EFN). 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. 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 Quickly Is Element Fleet Management Increasing Earnings Per Share?
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). That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Who among us would not applaud Element Fleet Management's stratospheric annual EPS growth of 42%, 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 take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. Not all of Element Fleet Management's revenue this year is revenue from operations, so keep in mind the revenue and margin numbers I've used might not be the best representation of the underlying business. Element Fleet Management's EBIT margins are flat but, of some concern, its revenue is actually down. And that does make me a little more cautious of the stock.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
While we live in the present moment at all times, there's no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Element Fleet Management?
Are Element Fleet Management 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, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.
We haven't seen any insiders selling Element Fleet Management shares, in the last year. With that in mind, it's heartening that Virginia Addicott, the Independent Director of the company, paid CA$50k for shares at around CA$10.01 each.
Does Element Fleet Management Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
Element Fleet Management's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. Growth investors should find it difficult to look past that strong EPS move. And in fact, it could well signal a fundamental shift in the business economics. For me, this situation certainly piques my interest. It's still necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Element Fleet Management , and understanding these should be part of your investment process.
The good news is that Element Fleet Management is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here's a list of them... with insider buying in the last three months!
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
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