Does Mainova (FRA:MNV6) Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

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.

So if you’re like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Mainova (FRA:MNV6). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it’s easy to admire a business than can consistently produce it. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

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See our latest analysis for Mainova

How Fast Is Mainova 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. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, Mainova’s EPS has grown 17% each year, compound, 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.

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. Mainova maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 2.4% to €2.1b. That’s progress.

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.

DB:MNV6 Income Statement, May 24th 2019
DB:MNV6 Income Statement, May 24th 2019

While it’s always good to see growing profits, you should always remember that a weak balance sheet could come back to bite. So check Mainova’s balance sheet strength, before getting too excited.

Are Mainova 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. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Mainova with market caps between €896m and €2.9b is about €1.6m.

The Mainova CEO received €817k in compensation for the year ending December 2017. That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. 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. I’d also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.

Should You Add Mainova To Your Watchlist?

You can’t deny that Mainova has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That’s attractive. With swiftly growing earnings, it probably has its best days ahead, and the modest CEO pay suggests the company is careful with cash. So I’d venture it may well deserve a spot on your watchlist, or even a little further research. 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 Mainova.

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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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.