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. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?' Leuz et. al. found that it is 'quite common' for investors to lose money by buying into 'pump and dump' schemes.
So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Sika (VTX:SIKA). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. 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.
How Fast Is Sika Growing?
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Over the last three years, Sika has grown EPS by 13% per year. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.
Careful consideration of revenue growth and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margins can help inform a view on the sustainability of the recent profit growth. While we note Sika's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 17% to CHF9.3b. That's a real positive.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Sika's future profits.
Are Sika Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a CHF45b company like Sika. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. To be specific, they have CHF13m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Despite being just 0.03% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.
It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. For companies with market capitalizations over CHF7.8b, like Sika, the median CEO pay is around CHF4.7m.
Sika offered total compensation worth CHF2.7m to its CEO in the year to . That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. 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. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.
Is Sika Worth Keeping An Eye On?
One important encouraging feature of Sika is that it is growing profits. The fact that EPS is growing is a genuine positive for Sika, but the pretty picture gets better than that. Boasting both modest CEO pay and considerable insider ownership, I'd argue this one is worthy of the watchlist, at least. Before you take the next step you should know about the 2 warning signs for Sika that we have uncovered.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.