Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone profit. 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.
In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like UP Global Sourcing Holdings (LON:UPGS). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. 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.
UP Global Sourcing Holdings's Earnings Per Share Are 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. UP Global Sourcing Holdings managed to grow EPS by 14% per year, over three years. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.
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). While we note UP Global Sourcing Holdings's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 19% to UK£147m. That's progress.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
While we live in the present moment at all times, there's no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for UP Global Sourcing Holdings?
Are UP Global Sourcing Holdings 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.
It's good to see UP Global Sourcing Holdings insiders walking the walk, by spending UK£306k on shares in just twelve months. When you contrast that with the complete lack of sales, it's easy for shareholders to brim with joyful expectancy. It is also worth noting that it was Company Secretary & Executive Director Graham Screawn who made the biggest single purchase, worth UK£294k, paying UK£1.96 per share.
And the insider buying isn't the only sign of alignment between shareholders and the board, since UP Global Sourcing Holdings insiders own more than a third of the company. Actually, with 43% of the company to their names, insiders are profoundly invested in the business. 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. With that sort of holding, insiders have about UK£47m riding on the stock, at current prices. That should be more than enough to keep them focussed on creating shareholder value!
Does UP Global Sourcing Holdings Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
As I already mentioned, UP Global Sourcing Holdings is a growing business, which is what I like to see. Better yet, insiders are significant shareholders, and have been buying more shares. That makes the company a prime candidate for my watchlist - and arguably a research priority. You should always think about risks though. Case in point, we've spotted 5 warning signs for UP Global Sourcing Holdings you should be aware of, and 2 of them don't sit too well with us.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of UP Global Sourcing Holdings, 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.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.