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. 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 Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (NZSE:FPH). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.
How Fast Is Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Growing?
As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Impressively, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has grown EPS by 36% 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. The good news is that Fisher & Paykel Healthcare is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 3.4 percentage points to 36%, over the last year. That's great to see, on both counts.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
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 Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.
Are Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like the kids in the streets standing up for their beliefs, insider share purchases give me reason to believe in a brighter future. That's because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.
We note that Fisher & Paykel Healthcare insiders spent NZ$157k on stock, over the last year; in contrast, we didn't see any selling. That's nice to see, because it suggests insiders are optimistic. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Independent Non-Executive Director Lisa E. McIntyre for NZ$143k worth of shares, at about NZ$32.45 per share.
Along with the insider buying, another encouraging sign for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare is that insiders, as a group, have a considerable shareholding. Indeed, they hold NZ$60m worth of its stock. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 0.4% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.
While insiders are apparently happy to hold and accumulate shares, that is just part of the pretty picture. That's because on our analysis the CEO, Lewis Gradon, is paid less than the median for similar sized companies. For companies with market capitalizations over NZ$12b, like Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, the median CEO pay is around NZ$5.3m.
The Fisher & Paykel Healthcare CEO received NZ$4.0m in compensation for the year ending . That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. 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.
Does Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
For growth investors like me, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. On top of that, insiders own a significant stake in the company and have been buying more shares. So it's fair to say I think this stock may well deserve a spot on your watchlist. While we've looked at the quality of the earnings, we haven't yet done any work to value the stock. So if you like to buy cheap, you may want to check if Fisher & Paykel Healthcare is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, you'll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
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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.