Here’s Why I Think Vianet Group (LON:VNET) Might Deserve Your Attention Today

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. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?’ Leuz et. al. found that it is ‘quite common’ for investors to lose money by buying into ‘pump and dump’ schemes.

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Vianet Group (LON:VNET). Now, I’m not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can’t shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. 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.

See our latest analysis for Vianet Group

Vianet 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. Impressively, Vianet Group has grown EPS by 32% 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.

Careful consideration of revenue growth and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margins can help inform a view on the sustainability of the recent profit growth. Vianet Group maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 5.7% to UK£16m. That’s a real positive.

You can take a look at the company’s revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

AIM:VNET Income Statement, March 4th 2020
AIM:VNET Income Statement, March 4th 2020

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 Vianet Group EPS 100% free.

Are Vianet Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like standing at the lookout, surveying the horizon at sunrise, insider buying, for some investors, sparks joy. This view is based on the possibility that stock purchases signal bullishness on behalf of the buyer. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don’t know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.

We haven’t seen any insiders selling Vianet Group shares, in the last year. So it’s definitely nice that Non-Executive Chairman James Dickson bought UK£28k worth of shares at an average price of around UK£1.35.

Is Vianet Group Worth Keeping An Eye On?

You can’t deny that Vianet Group has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That’s attractive. Not only is that growth rate rather juicy, but the insider buying makes my mouth water. So on this analysis I believe Vianet Group is probably worth spending some time on. It is worth noting though that we have found 3 warning signs for Vianet Group (1 is a bit concerning!) that you need to take into consideration.

As a growth investor I do like to see insider buying. But Vianet Group isn’t the only one. You can see a a free list of them here.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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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