Is Now The Time To Put Manx Financial Group (LON:MFX) On Your Watchlist?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 23, 2020
AIM:MFX
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 Warren Buffett has mused, 'If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.' When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Manx Financial Group (LON:MFX). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

Check out our latest analysis for Manx Financial Group

Manx Financial Group's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. We can see that in the last three years Manx Financial Group grew its EPS by 17% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.

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. I note that Manx Financial Group's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. Manx Financial Group maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 9.8% to UK£20m. That's a real positive.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

earnings-and-revenue-history
AIM:MFX Earnings and Revenue History August 24th 2020

Since Manx Financial Group is no giant, with a market capitalization of UK£9.5m, so you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.

Are Manx Financial Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Many consider high insider ownership to be a strong sign of alignment between the leaders of a company and the ordinary shareholders. So as you can imagine, the fact that Manx Financial Group insiders own a significant number of shares certainly appeals to me. In fact, they own 36% of the shares, making insiders a very influential shareholder group. I'm always comforted by solid insider ownership like this, as it implies that those running the business are genuinely motivated to create shareholder value. Valued at only UK£9.5m Manx Financial Group is really small for a listed company. That means insiders only have UK£3.5m worth of shares, despite the large proportional holding. That's not a huge stake in absolute terms, but it should help keep insiders aligned with other shareholders.

It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Manx Financial Group with market caps under UK£153m is about UK£274k.

The Manx Financial Group CEO received total compensation of only UK£25k in the year to . This could be considered a token amount, and indicates that the company does not need to use payment to motivate the CEO - that is often a good sign. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Is Manx Financial Group Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One positive for Manx Financial Group is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. The fact that EPS is growing is a genuine positive for Manx Financial Group, but the pretty picture gets better than that. Boasting both modest CEO pay and considerable insider ownership, I'd argue this one is worthy of the watchlist, at least. We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 3 warning signs for Manx Financial Group that you need to be mindful of.

Although Manx Financial Group certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.

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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