If You Like EPS Growth Then Check Out Dover (NYSE:DOV) Before It's Too Late

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 30, 2021
NYSE:DOV
Source: Shutterstock

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

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Dover (NYSE:DOV), 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. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

Check out our latest analysis for Dover

How Fast Is Dover 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). It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. Dover managed to grow EPS by 11% per year, over three years. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.

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. The good news is that Dover is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 2.0 percentage points to 17%, over the last year. 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.

earnings-and-revenue-history
NYSE:DOV Earnings and Revenue History December 30th 2021

Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Dover.

Are Dover Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$26b company like Dover. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$131m. 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.

Should You Add Dover To Your Watchlist?

One important encouraging feature of Dover is that it is growing profits. Just as polish makes silverware pop, the high level of insider ownership enhances my enthusiasm for this growth. The combination sparks joy for me, so I'd consider keeping the company on a watchlist. You should always think about risks though. Case in point, we've spotted 2 warning signs for Dover you should be aware of.

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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