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. 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 Madhav Copper (NSE:MCL). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.
Madhav Copper's Improving Profits
Over the last three years, Madhav Copper has grown earnings per share (EPS) like young bamboo after rain; fast, and from a low base. So I don't think the percent growth rate is particularly meaningful. Thus, it makes sense to focus on more recent growth rates, instead. It's good to see that Madhav Copper's EPS have grown from ₹1.48 to ₹1.64 over twelve months. I doubt many would complain about that 10% gain.
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 Madhav Copper may have maintained EBIT margins over the last year, revenue has fallen. And that does make me a little more cautious of the stock.
You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
Madhav Copper isn't a huge company, given its market capitalization of ₹2.7b. That makes it extra important to check on its balance sheet strength.
Are Madhav Copper 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 Madhav Copper insiders own a significant number of shares certainly appeals to me. Indeed, with a collective holding of 77%, company insiders are in control and have plenty of capital behind the venture. To me this is a good sign because it suggests they will be incentivised to build value for shareholders over the long term. With that sort of holding, insiders have about ₹2.0b riding on the stock, at current prices. 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? Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Madhav Copper with market caps under ₹15b is about ₹3.3m.
The Madhav Copper CEO received total compensation of only ₹472k in the year to . This could be considered a token amount, and indicates that the company does not need to use payment to motivate the CEO - that is often a good sign. While the level of CEO compensation isn't a huge factor in my view of the company, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.
Should You Add Madhav Copper To Your Watchlist?
As I already mentioned, Madhav Copper is a growing business, which is what I like to see. Earnings growth might be the main game for Madhav Copper, but the fun does not stop there. Boasting both modest CEO pay and considerable insider ownership, I'd argue this one is worthy of the watchlist, at least. You should always think about risks though. Case in point, we've spotted 3 warning signs for Madhav Copper you should be aware of, and 1 of them doesn't sit too well with us.
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.
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