Stock Analysis

Do Popular's (NASDAQ:BPOP) Earnings Warrant Your Attention?

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NasdaqGS:BPOP
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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. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Popular (NASDAQ:BPOP). Now, I'm not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can't shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. 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.

See our latest analysis for Popular

How Quickly Is Popular Increasing Earnings Per Share?

If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS). It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. I, for one, am blown away by the fact that Popular has grown EPS by 41% per year, over the last three years. While that sort of growth rate isn't sustainable for long, it certainly catches my attention; like a crow with a sparkly stone.

One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. Not all of Popular's revenue this year is revenue from operations, so keep in mind the revenue and margin numbers I've used might not be the best representation of the underlying business. Popular maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 31% to US$2.7b. That's progress.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

earnings-and-revenue-history
NasdaqGS:BPOP Earnings and Revenue History January 22nd 2022

You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Popular's future profits.

Are Popular Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$7.1b company like Popular. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$109m. I would find that kind of skin in the game quite encouraging, if I owned shares, since it would ensure that the leaders of the company would also experience my success, or failure, with the stock.

It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. For companies with market capitalizations between US$4.0b and US$12b, like Popular, the median CEO pay is around US$6.5m.

The Popular CEO received US$4.8m in compensation for the year ending . That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Is Popular Worth Keeping An Eye On?

Popular's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. The cherry on top is that insiders own a bucket-load of shares, and the CEO pay seems really quite reasonable. The sharp increase in earnings could signal good business momentum. Big growth can make big winners, so I do think Popular is worth considering carefully. Even so, be aware that Popular is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those doesn't sit too well with us...

You can invest in any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies with insider buying in the last three months.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

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