Here's Why We Think Gentherm (NASDAQ:THRM) Is Well Worth Watching

By
Simply Wall St
Published
October 04, 2021
NasdaqGS:THRM
Source: Shutterstock

For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Gentherm (NASDAQ:THRM). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

Check out our latest analysis for Gentherm

Gentherm's Improving Profits

Over the last three years, Gentherm 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. Like the last firework on New Year's Eve accelerating into the sky, Gentherm's EPS shot from US$1.20 to US$3.49, over the last year. You don't see 191% year-on-year growth like that, very often. That could be a sign that the business has reached a true inflection point.

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). Gentherm shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 7.7% to 14%, and revenue is growing. 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. For finer detail, click on the image.

earnings-and-revenue-history
NasdaqGS:THRM Earnings and Revenue History October 5th 2021

The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. To that end, right now and today, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for future Gentherm EPS 100% free.

Are Gentherm Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. As a result, I'm encouraged by the fact that insiders own Gentherm shares worth a considerable sum. Indeed, they hold US$20m worth of its stock. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Even though that's only about 0.7% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.

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 Gentherm with market caps between US$2.0b and US$6.4b is about US$5.2m.

The Gentherm CEO received US$4.3m in compensation for the year ending . That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. 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 a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Does Gentherm Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

Gentherm's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. The sweetener is that insiders have a mountain of stock, and the CEO remuneration is quite reasonable. The sharp increase in earnings could signal good business momentum. Big growth can make big winners, so I do think Gentherm is worth considering carefully. We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 1 warning sign for Gentherm that you need to be mindful of.

Although Gentherm 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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