Does W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW) Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

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Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase ‘the next big thing’, even if that means buying ‘story stocks’ without revenue, let alone profit. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While that doesn’t make the shares worth buying at any price, you can’t deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. 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 W.W. Grainger

How Quickly Is W.W. Grainger 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 means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Over the last three years, W.W. Grainger has grown EPS by 7.1% per year. That might not be particularly high growth, but it does show that per-share earnings are moving steadily in the right direction.

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. W.W. Grainger maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 5.7% to US$11b. That’s progress.

You can take a look at the company’s revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

NYSE:GWW Income Statement, June 8th 2019
NYSE:GWW Income Statement, June 8th 2019

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 W.W. Grainger EPS 100% free.

Are W.W. Grainger Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$15b company like W.W. Grainger. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$2.9b. That equates to 19% of the company, making insiders powerful and aligned with other shareholders. Very encouraging.

Does W.W. Grainger Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

One important encouraging feature of W.W. Grainger 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. 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 W.W. Grainger. You might benefit from giving it a glance today.

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

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

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.