Here’s Why We Think Constellation Software (TSE:CSU) Is Well Worth Watching

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

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Constellation Software (TSE:CSU), 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. 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.

View our latest analysis for Constellation Software

How Quickly Is Constellation Software Increasing Earnings Per Share?

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. It certainly is nice to see that Constellation Software has managed to grow EPS by 33% per year over three years. As a general rule, we’d say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be smiling.

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. Constellation Software maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 20% to US$3.2b. That’s progress.

The chart below shows how the company’s bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

TSX:CSU Income Statement, May 13th 2019
TSX:CSU Income Statement, May 13th 2019

In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Constellation Software’s forecast profits?.

Are Constellation Software Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$24b company like Constellation Software. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$1.7b. I would find that kind of skin in the game quite encouraging, if I owned shares, since it would ensure that the leaders of the company would also experience my success, or failure, with the stock.

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 Constellation Software, with market caps over US$8.0b, is about US$6.6m.

The Constellation Software CEO received total compensation of only US$1 in the year to December 2017. 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.

Is Constellation Software Worth Keeping An Eye On?

For growth investors like me, Constellation Software’s raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. If that’s not enough, consider also that the CEO pay is quite reasonable, and insiders are well-invested alongside other shareholders. Each to their own, but I think all this makes Constellation Software look rather interesting indeed. Once you’ve identified a business you like, the next step is to consider what you think it’s worth. And right now is your chance to view our exclusive discounted cashflow valuation of Constellation Software. You might benefit from giving it a glance today.

You can invest in any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies 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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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.