Stock Analysis

We Ran A Stock Scan For Earnings Growth And Enerplus (TSE:ERF) Passed With Ease

TSX:ERF
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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 currently 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.' Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, so investors in these companies may be taking on more risk than they should.

So if this idea of high risk and high reward doesn't suit, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Enerplus (TSE:ERF). While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.

View our latest analysis for Enerplus

How Fast Is Enerplus Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

Strong earnings per share (EPS) results are an indicator of a company achieving solid profits, which investors look upon favourably and so the share price tends to reflect great EPS performance. So for many budding investors, improving EPS is considered a good sign. Commendations have to be given in seeing that Enerplus grew its EPS from US$0.93 to US$4.21, in one short year. While it's difficult to sustain growth at that level, it bodes well for the company's outlook for the future. But the key is discerning whether something profound has changed, or if this is a just a one-off boost.

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 music to the ears of Enerplus shareholders is that EBIT margins have grown from 26% to 50% in the last 12 months and revenues are on an upwards trend as well. That's great to see, on both counts.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

earnings-and-revenue-history
TSX:ERF Earnings and Revenue History April 14th 2023

Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Enerplus.

Are Enerplus Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It's pleasing to see company leaders with putting their money on the line, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. Shareholders will be pleased by the fact that insiders own Enerplus shares worth a considerable sum. To be specific, they have US$22m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. While their ownership only accounts for 0.5%, this is still a considerable amount at stake to encourage the business to maintain a strategy that will deliver value to shareholders.

Does Enerplus Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

Enerplus' earnings have taken off in quite an impressive fashion. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders should certainly brighten the view of the company. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So at the surface level, Enerplus is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. If you think Enerplus might suit your style as an investor, you could go straight to its annual report, or you could first check our discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation for the company.

There's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you 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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Enerplus is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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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.