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. But the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses.
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Serco Group (LON:SRP), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. 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.
Serco Group's Improving Profits
In the last three years Serco Group's earnings per share took off like a rocket; fast, and from a low base. So the actual rate of growth doesn't tell us much. As a result, I'll zoom in on growth over the last year, instead. Like the last firework on New Year's Eve accelerating into the sky, Serco Group's EPS shot from UK£0.046 to UK£0.10, over the last year. You don't see 117% year-on-year growth like that, very often.
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. While we note Serco Group's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 22% to UK£3.6b. That's a real positive.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
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 Serco Group EPS 100% free.
Are Serco Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. Of course, we can never be sure what insiders are thinking, we can only judge their actions.
We haven't seen any insiders selling Serco Group shares, in the last year. So it's definitely nice that Independent Chairman of the Board Roy Gardner bought UK£29k worth of shares at an average price of around UK£1.17.
Should You Add Serco Group To Your Watchlist?
Serco Group's earnings per share growth have been levitating higher, like a mountain goat scaling the Alps. Growth investors should find it difficult to look past that strong EPS move. And indeed, it could be a sign that the business is at an inflection point. For me, this situation certainly piques my interest. You should always think about risks though. Case in point, we've spotted 2 warning signs for Serco Group you should be aware of, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Serco Group, you'll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
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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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