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. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Mercator Medical (WSE:MRC), which has not only revenues, but also profits. 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.
How Fast Is Mercator Medical Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
In business, though not in life, profits are a key measure of success; and share prices tend to reflect earnings per share (EPS). So like the hint of a smile on a face that I love, growing EPS generally makes me look twice. You can imagine, then, that it almost knocked my socks off when I realized that Mercator Medical grew its EPS from zł2.14 to zł115, in one short year. When you see earnings grow that quickly, it often means good things ahead for the company. Could this be a sign that the business has reached an inflection point?
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. Mercator Medical shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 6.3% to 60%, and revenue is growing. That's great to see, on both counts.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
While profitability drives the upside, prudent investors always check the balance sheet, too.
Are Mercator Medical Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
I like company leaders to have some skin in the game, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. So it is good to see that Mercator Medical insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. To be specific, they have zł115m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Despite being just 4.2% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.
Should You Add Mercator Medical To Your Watchlist?
Mercator Medical's earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. That EPS growth certainly has my attention, and the large insider ownership only serves to further stoke my interest. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So to my mind Mercator Medical is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. Still, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Mercator Medical (including 2 which are a bit concerning) .
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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