Here’s Why I Think ENCE Energía y Celulosa (BME:ENC) Is An Interesting Stock

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.’

So if you’re like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like ENCE Energía y Celulosa (BME:ENC). 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.

View our latest analysis for ENCE Energía y Celulosa

How Fast Is ENCE Energía y Celulosa Growing?

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. I, for one, am blown away by the fact that ENCE Energía y Celulosa has grown EPS by 38% per year, over the last three years. Growth that fast may well be fleeting, but like a lotus blooming from a murky pond, it sparks joy for the wary stock pickers.

I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). ENCE Energía y Celulosa shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 19% to 24%, 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.

BME:ENC Income Statement, April 21st 2019
BME:ENC Income Statement, April 21st 2019

The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. To that end, right now and today, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for future ENCE Energía y Celulosa EPS 100% free.

Are ENCE Energía y Celulosa Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I always like to check up on CEO compensation, because I think that reasonable pay levels, around or below the median, can be a sign that shareholder interests are well considered. For companies with market capitalizations between €889m and €2.8b, like ENCE Energía y Celulosa, the median CEO pay is around €441k.

The ENCE Energía y Celulosa CEO received total compensation of only €44k in the year to December 2018. You could consider this pay as somewhat symbolic, which suggests the CEO does not need a lot of compensation to stay motivated. 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 a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Does ENCE Energía y Celulosa Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

ENCE Energía y Celulosa’s earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. Such fast EPS growth makes me wonder if the business has hit an inflection point (and I mean the good kind.) At the same time the reasonable CEO compensation reflects well on the board of directors. While I couldn’t be sure without a deeper dive, it does seem that ENCE Energía y Celulosa has the hallmarks of a quality business; and that would make it well worth watching. Of course, just because ENCE Energía y Celulosa is growing does not mean it is undervalued. If you’re wondering about the valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

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

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

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.