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.
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Valmet Oyj (HEL:VALMT), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. 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 Valmet Oyj Growing?
As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, Valmet Oyj's EPS has grown 33% 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. Valmet Oyj maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 2.6% to €3.8b. That's progress.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
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 Valmet Oyj.
Are Valmet Oyj Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a €5.3b company like Valmet Oyj. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Indeed, they hold €26m worth of its stock. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Even though that's only about 0.5% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.
Is Valmet Oyj Worth Keeping An Eye On?
For growth investors like me, Valmet Oyj's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. I think that EPS growth is something to boast of, and it doesn't surprise me that insiders are holding on to a considerable chunk of shares. So this is very likely the kind of business that I like to spend time researching, with a view to discerning its true value. However, before you get too excited we've discovered 1 warning sign for Valmet Oyj that you should be aware of.
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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