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 Warren Buffett has mused, 'If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.' When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Matachewan Consolidated Mines (CVE:MCM.A), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.
Matachewan Consolidated Mines's Improving Profits
In a capitalist society capital chases profits, and that means share prices tend rise with earnings per share (EPS). So like the hint of a smile on a face that I love, growing EPS generally makes me look twice. You can imagine, then, that it almost knocked my socks off when I realized that Matachewan Consolidated Mines grew its EPS from CA$0.017 to CA$0.11, in one short year. Even though that growth rate is unlikely to be repeated, that looks like a breakout improvement. 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. I note that Matachewan Consolidated Mines's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. The good news is that Matachewan Consolidated Mines is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 37.4 percentage points to 83%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
Matachewan Consolidated Mines isn't a huge company, given its market capitalization of CA$2.4m. That makes it extra important to check on its balance sheet strength.
Are Matachewan Consolidated Mines Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
As a general rule, I think it worth considering how much the CEO is paid, since unreasonably high rates could be considered against the interests of shareholders. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Matachewan Consolidated Mines with market caps under CA$260m is about CA$216k.
The CEO of Matachewan Consolidated Mines was paid just CA$45k in total compensation for the year ending . This could be considered a token amount, and indicates that the company does not need to use payment to motivate the CEO - that is often a good sign. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. I'd also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.
Should You Add Matachewan Consolidated Mines To Your Watchlist?
Matachewan Consolidated Mines's earnings per share growth have been levitating higher, like a mountain goat scaling the Alps. Such fast EPS growth makes me wonder if the business has hit an inflection point (and I mean the good kind.) Meanwhile, the very reasonable CEO pay reassures me a little, since it points to an absence profligacy. While I couldn't be sure without a deeper dive, it does seem that Matachewan Consolidated Mines has the hallmarks of a quality business; and that would make it well worth watching. What about risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 5 warning signs for Matachewan Consolidated Mines (of which 4 can't be ignored!) 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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