If You Like EPS Growth Then Check Out Timken (NYSE:TKR) Before It’s Too Late

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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 Warren Buffett has mused, ‘If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.’ When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Timken (NYSE:TKR). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it’s easy to admire a business than can consistently produce it. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital – but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

See our latest analysis for Timken

Timken’s Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. I, for one, am blown away by the fact that Timken has grown EPS by 38% per year, over the last three years. That sort of growth never lasts long, but like a shooting star it is well worth watching when it happens.

I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). Timken shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 11% to 13%, and revenue is growing. That’s great to see, on both counts.

You can take a look at the company’s revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

NYSE:TKR Income Statement, May 14th 2019
NYSE:TKR Income Statement, May 14th 2019

Fortunately, we’ve got access to analyst forecasts of Timken’s future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.

Are Timken Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company, if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. As a result, I’m encouraged by the fact that insiders own Timken shares worth a considerable sum. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$190m. 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.

Is Timken Worth Keeping An Eye On?

Timken’s earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. That EPS growth certainly has my attention, and the large insider ownership only serves to further stoke my interest. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So to my mind Timken is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Timken by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.

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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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.