Here's Why I Think Cipher Pharmaceuticals (TSE:CPH) Is An Interesting Stock

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 14, 2022
TSX:CPH
Source: Shutterstock

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 completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Cipher Pharmaceuticals (TSE:CPH). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.

See our latest analysis for Cipher Pharmaceuticals

Cipher Pharmaceuticals's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. Who among us would not applaud Cipher Pharmaceuticals's stratospheric annual EPS growth of 45%, compound, over the last three years? That sort of growth never lasts long, but like a shooting star it is well worth watching when it happens.

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. Cipher Pharmaceuticals maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 3.6% to US$22m. That's a real positive.

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:CPH Earnings and Revenue History May 14th 2022

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 Cipher Pharmaceuticals EPS 100% free.

Are Cipher Pharmaceuticals Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Many consider high insider ownership to be a strong sign of alignment between the leaders of a company and the ordinary shareholders. So we're pleased to report that Cipher Pharmaceuticals insiders own a meaningful share of the business. Actually, with 43% of the company to their names, insiders are profoundly invested in the business. I'm always comforted by solid insider ownership like this, as it implies that those running the business are genuinely motivated to create shareholder value. In terms of absolute value, insiders have US$28m invested in the business, using the current share price. That should be more than enough to keep them focussed on creating shareholder value!

It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Cipher Pharmaceuticals with market caps under US$200m is about US$167k.

The Cipher Pharmaceuticals CEO received total compensation of only US$23k in the year to . 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 compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Does Cipher Pharmaceuticals Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

Cipher Pharmaceuticals's earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. The sweetener is that insiders have a mountain of stock, and the CEO remuneration is quite reasonable. The sharp increase in earnings could signal good business momentum. Big growth can make big winners, so I do think Cipher Pharmaceuticals is worth considering carefully. It's still necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Cipher Pharmaceuticals , and understanding these should be part of your investment process.

Although Cipher Pharmaceuticals certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.

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