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 the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses.
So if you’re like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like GMS (NYSE:GMS). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. 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.
How Quickly Is GMS Increasing Earnings Per Share?
The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so share price follows earnings per share (EPS) eventually. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Who among us would not applaud GMS’s stratospheric annual EPS growth of 47%, compound, 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. GMS maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 20% to US$3.2b. That’s a real positive.
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 GMS EPS 100% free.
Are GMS Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. This view is based on the possibility that stock purchases signal bullishness on behalf of the buyer. Of course, we can never be sure what insiders are thinking, we can only judge their actions.
Although we did see some insider selling (worth -US$654.6k) this was overshadowed by a mountain of buying, totalling US$3.3m in just one year. This makes me even more interested in GMS because it suggests that those who understand the company best, are optimistic. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Director Ronald Ross for US$1.6m worth of shares, at about US$16.02 per share.
Along with the insider buying, another encouraging sign for GMS is that insiders, as a group, have a considerable shareholding. Indeed, they hold US$44m worth of its stock. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 3.9% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.
Does GMS Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
GMS’s earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. Just as heartening; insiders both own and are buying more stock. This quick rundown suggests that the business may be of good quality, and also at an inflection point, so maybe GMS deserves timely attention. While we’ve looked at the quality of the earnings, we haven’t yet done any work to value the stock. So if you like to buy cheap, you may want to check if GMS is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of GMS, you’ll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction
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