Stock Analysis

Is Now The Time To Put MLP (ETR:MLP) On Your Watchlist?

XTRA:MLP
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It's only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in 'sexy' stocks with a good story, even if those businesses lose money. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like MLP (ETR:MLP), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Now, I'm not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can't shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. 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 MLP

How Quickly Is MLP Increasing Earnings Per Share?

If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS). It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. Over the last three years, MLP has grown EPS by 16% per year. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.

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. While we note MLP's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 9.7% to €767m. 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
XTRA:MLP Earnings and Revenue History April 8th 2021

Fortunately, we've got access to analyst forecasts of MLP's future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.

Are MLP Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I like company leaders to have some skin in the game, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. As a result, I'm encouraged by the fact that insiders own MLP shares worth a considerable sum. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at €193m. Coming in at 26% of the business, that holding gives insiders a lot of influence, and plenty of reason to generate value for shareholders. So it might be my imagination, but I do sense the glimmer of an opportunity.

Does MLP Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

One important encouraging feature of MLP is that it is growing profits. If that's not enough on its own, there is also the rather notable levels of insider ownership. The combination sparks joy for me, so I'd consider keeping the company on a watchlist. Even so, be aware that MLP is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...

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

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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. 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.
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