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 Diageo (LON:DGE). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.
How Fast Is Diageo Growing?
If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS). Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. We can see that in the last three years Diageo grew its EPS by 13% per year. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.
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 Diageo's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 5.8% to UK£13b. That's progress.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
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 Diageo EPS 100% free.
Are Diageo Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like standing at the lookout, surveying the horizon at sunrise, insider buying, for some investors, sparks joy. That's because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.
While we did see insider selling of Diageo stock in the last year, one single insider spent plenty more buying. To wit, Chairman Javier Ferrán outlaid UK£1.1m for shares, at about UK£32.82 per share. That certainly pricks my ears up.
Along with the insider buying, another encouraging sign for Diageo is that insiders, as a group, have a considerable shareholding. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth UK£89m. This suggests to me that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders' interests when making decisions!
Is Diageo Worth Keeping An Eye On?
As I already mentioned, Diageo is a growing business, which is what I like to see. Better yet, insiders are significant shareholders, and have been buying more shares. To me, that all makes it well worth a spot on your watchlist, as well as continuing 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 Diageo.
The good news is that Diageo is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here's a list of them... with insider buying in the last three months!
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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