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. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.
So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Ocean One Holding (HKG:8476). 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. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.
Ocean One Holding's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.
The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so share price follows earnings per share (EPS) eventually. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, Ocean One Holding's EPS has grown 30% each year, compound, over three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away winners.
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. Ocean One Holding's EBIT margins have actually improved by 2.7 percentage points in the last year, to reach 9.7%, but, on the flip side, revenue was down 5.7%. That's not ideal.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
Since Ocean One Holding is no giant, with a market capitalization of HK$221m, so you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.
Are Ocean One Holding 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 Ocean One Holding insiders own a significant number of shares certainly appeals to me. In fact, they own 72% of the company, so they will share in the same delights and challenges experienced by the ordinary shareholders. To me this is a good sign because it suggests they will be incentivised to build value for shareholders over the long term. In terms of absolute value, insiders have HK$159m invested in the business, using the current share price. That should be more than enough to keep them focussed on creating shareholder value!
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 Ocean One Holding with market caps under HK$1.6b is about HK$1.8m.
Ocean One Holding offered total compensation worth HK$902k to its CEO in the year to . That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. 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. I'd also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.
Should You Add Ocean One Holding To Your Watchlist?
For growth investors like me, Ocean One Holding'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. This may only be a fast rundown, but the takeaway for me is that Ocean One Holding is worth keeping an eye on. It's still necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Ocean One Holding , and understanding these should be part of your investment process.
Of course, you can do well (sometimes) buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But as a growth investor I always like to check out companies that do have those features. You can access a free list of them here.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
When trading stocks or any other investment, use the platform considered by many to be the Professional's Gateway to the Worlds Market, Interactive Brokers. You get the lowest-cost* trading on stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account. Promoted
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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.