Stock Analysis

Should You Be Adding Powell Industries (NASDAQ:POWL) To Your Watchlist Today?

NasdaqGS:POWL
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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 currently lacks a track record of revenue and profit. Unfortunately, these high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson. Loss making companies can act like a sponge for capital - so investors should be cautious that they're not throwing good money after bad.

So if this idea of high risk and high reward doesn't suit, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Powell Industries (NASDAQ:POWL). While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.

View our latest analysis for Powell Industries

How Fast Is Powell Industries 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) outcomes. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Shareholders will be happy to know that Powell Industries' EPS has grown 21% each year, compound, over three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be beaming.

Top-line growth is a great indicator that growth is sustainable, and combined with a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin, it's a great way for a company to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. The good news is that Powell Industries is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 6.4 percentage points to 6.6%, over the last year. Both of which are great metrics to check off for potential growth.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

earnings-and-revenue-history
NasdaqGS:POWL Earnings and Revenue History December 5th 2023

While we live in the present moment, there's little doubt that the future matters most in the investment decision process. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Powell Industries?

Are Powell Industries Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It's pleasing to see company leaders with putting their money on the line, 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 Powell Industries insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. We note that their impressive stake in the company is worth US$236m. Coming in at 23% of the business, that holding gives insiders a lot of influence, and plenty of reason to generate value for shareholders. So there is opportunity here to invest in a company whose management have tangible incentives to deliver.

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. Our analysis has discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Powell Industries with market caps between US$400m and US$1.6b is about US$3.5m.

Powell Industries' CEO took home a total compensation package worth US$2.3m in the year leading up to September 2022. That comes in below the average for similar sized companies and seems pretty reasonable. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when it's reasonable, that gives a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. Generally, arguments can be made that reasonable pay levels attest to good decision-making.

Does Powell Industries Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

For growth investors, Powell Industries' raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. If you still have your doubts, remember too that company insiders have a considerable investment aligning themselves with the shareholders and CEO pay is quite modest compared to similarly sized companiess. The overarching message here is that Powell Industries has underlying strengths that make it worth a look at. Of course, just because Powell Industries is growing does not mean it is undervalued. If you're wondering about the valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

There's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you 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.

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

Find out whether Powell Industries is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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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.