Here's Why We Think Carl Zeiss Meditec (ETR:AFX) Is Well Worth Watching

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 12, 2021
XTRA:AFX
Source: Shutterstock

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.'

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Carl Zeiss Meditec (ETR:AFX). 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. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Carl Zeiss Meditec

How Quickly Is Carl Zeiss Meditec Increasing Earnings Per Share?

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Impressively, Carl Zeiss Meditec has grown EPS by 23% per year, compound, in the last three years. As a result, we can understand why the stock trades on a high multiple of trailing twelve month earnings.

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. Carl Zeiss Meditec shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 13% to 23%, and revenue is growing. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

earnings-and-revenue-history
XTRA:AFX Earnings and Revenue History December 12th 2021

Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Carl Zeiss Meditec.

Are Carl Zeiss Meditec 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. For companies with market capitalizations over €7.1b, like Carl Zeiss Meditec, the median CEO pay is around €3.9m.

The Carl Zeiss Meditec CEO received total compensation of just €1.9m in the year to . That's clearly well below average, so at a glance, that arrangement seems generous to shareholders, and points to a modest remuneration culture. 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.

Should You Add Carl Zeiss Meditec To Your Watchlist?

You can't deny that Carl Zeiss Meditec has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. The fast growth bodes well while the very reasonable CEO pay assists builds some confidence in the board. So I'd argue this is the kind of stock worth watching, even if it isn't great value today. Of course, identifying quality businesses is only half the battle; investors need to know whether the stock is undervalued. So you might want to consider this free discounted cashflow valuation of Carl Zeiss Meditec.

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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