Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. 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.
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Lake Materials (KOSDAQ:281740). 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.
Lake Materials's Improving Profits
Even with very modest growth rates, a company will usually do well if it improves earnings per share (EPS) year after year. So it's no surprise that some investors are more inclined to invest in profitable businesses. Over twelve months, Lake Materials increased its EPS from ₩28.83 to ₩31.00. That's a modest gain of 7.5%.
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). The good news is that Lake Materials is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 2.7 percentage points to 10%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.
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.
Lake Materials isn't a huge company, given its market capitalization of ₩264b. That makes it extra important to check on its balance sheet strength.
Are Lake Materials 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 Lake Materials insiders own a significant number of shares certainly appeals to me. Actually, with 44% 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 ₩116b riding on the stock, at current prices. That's nothing to sneeze at!
Should You Add Lake Materials To Your Watchlist?
One positive for Lake Materials is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. Just as polish makes silverware pop, the high level of insider ownership enhances my enthusiasm for this growth. That combination appeals to me, for one. So yes, I do think the stock is worth keeping an eye on. However, before you get too excited we've discovered 3 warning signs for Lake Materials (1 is concerning!) that you should be aware of.
Although Lake Materials 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.
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