Here’s Why I Think WesBanco (NASDAQ:WSBC) Might Deserve Your Attention Today

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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 . 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 WesBanco (NASDAQ:WSBC). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it’s easy to admire a business than can consistently produce it. 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.

View our latest analysis for WesBanco

How Fast Is WesBanco Growing?

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). That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. We can see that in the last three years WesBanco grew its EPS by 7.7% per year. While that sort of growth rate isn’t amazing, it does show the business is growing.

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. I note that WesBanco’s revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. While we note WesBanco’s EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 25% to US$468m. That’s progress.

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.

NasdaqGS:WSBC Income Statement, May 5th 2019
NasdaqGS:WSBC Income Statement, May 5th 2019

While we live in the present moment at all times, there’s no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for WesBanco?

Are WesBanco 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. As a result, I’m encouraged by the fact that insiders own WesBanco shares worth a considerable sum. Given insiders own a small fortune of shares, currently valued at US$68m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. This should keep them focused on creating long term value for shareholders.

It’s good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? Well, based on the CEO pay, I’d say they are indeed. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like WesBanco with market caps between US$1.0b and US$3.2b is about US$3.8m.

The WesBanco CEO received US$1.9m in compensation for the year ending December 2018. 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.

Should You Add WesBanco To Your Watchlist?

As I already mentioned, WesBanco is a growing business, which is what I like to see. The fact that EPS is growing is a genuine positive for WesBanco, but the pretty picture gets better than that. With a meaningful level of insider ownership, and reasonable CEO pay, a reasonable mind might conclude that this is one stock worth watching. Once you’ve identified a business you like, the next step is to consider what you think it’s worth. And right now is your chance to view our exclusive discounted cashflow valuation of WesBanco. You might benefit from giving it a glance today.

Although WesBanco 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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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.