Does John Bean Technologies (NYSE:JBT) 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 John Bean Technologies (NYSE:JBT), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While profit is not necessarily a social good, it’s easy to admire a business than can consistently produce it. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.

View our latest analysis for John Bean Technologies

How Quickly Is John Bean Technologies Increasing Earnings Per Share?

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Impressively, John Bean Technologies has grown EPS by 29% per year, compound, in the last three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we’d expect shareholders to come away winners.

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. John Bean Technologies shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 8.6% to 11%, and revenue is growing. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

The chart below shows how the company’s bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

NYSE:JBT Income Statement, May 8th 2019
NYSE:JBT Income Statement, May 8th 2019

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 John Bean Technologies.

Are John Bean Technologies Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like the kids in the streets standing up for their beliefs, insider share purchases give me reason to believe in a brighter future. This view is based on the possibility that stock purchases signal bullishness on behalf of the buyer. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don’t know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.

Insiders both bought and sold John Bean Technologies shares in the last year, but the good news is they spent US$33k more buying than they netted selling. When you weigh that up, it is a mild positive, indicating increased alignment between shareholders and management. We also note that it was the Executive VP & CFO, Brian Deck, who made the biggest single acquisition, paying US$88k for shares at about US$87.92 each.

On top of the insider buying, it’s good to see that John Bean Technologies insiders have a valuable investment in the business. With a whopping US$89m worth of shares as a group, insiders have plenty riding on the company’s success. That’s certainly enough to make me think that management will be very focussed on long term growth.

Is John Bean Technologies Worth Keeping An Eye On?

Given my belief that share price follows earnings per share you can easily imagine how I feel about John Bean Technologies’s strong EPS growth. On top of that, insiders own a significant stake in the company and have been buying more shares. So it’s fair to say I think this stock may well deserve a spot on your watchlist. Of course, just because John Bean Technologies 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.

The good news is that John Bean Technologies is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here’s a a list of them… 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.