Here's Why I Think Softcat (LON:SCT) Is An Interesting Stock

By
Simply Wall St
Published
October 26, 2021
LSE:SCT
Source: Shutterstock

For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. 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 Softcat (LON:SCT), which has not only revenues, but also profits. 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 Softcat

Softcat's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Impressively, Softcat has grown EPS by 27% per year, compound, in the last three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away winners.

I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. While we note Softcat's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 4.4% to UK£1.1b. That's a real positive.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

earnings-and-revenue-history
LSE:SCT Earnings and Revenue History October 26th 2021

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 Softcat.

Are Softcat 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 Softcat insiders own a significant number of shares certainly appeals to me. In fact, they own 39% of the shares, making insiders a very influential shareholder group. I'm reassured by this kind of alignment, as it suggests the business will be run for the benefit of shareholders. At the current share price, that insider holding is worth a whopping UK£1.5b. That means they have plenty of their own capital riding on the performance of the business!

It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Softcat with market caps between UK£2.9b and UK£8.7b is about UK£1.6m.

The Softcat CEO received UK£991k in compensation for the year ending . That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Is Softcat Worth Keeping An Eye On?

For growth investors like me, Softcat's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. If you need more convincing beyond that EPS growth rate, don't forget about the reasonable remuneration and the high insider ownership. Each to their own, but I think all this makes Softcat look rather interesting indeed. We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 1 warning sign for Softcat that you need to be mindful of.

Although Softcat 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.

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.

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Simply Wall St

Simply Wall St is focused on providing unbiased, high-quality research coverage on every listed company in the world. Our research team consists of data scientists and multiple equity analysts with over two decades worth of financial markets experience between them.