Stock Analysis

Here's Why Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) Has Caught The Eye Of Investors

NasdaqGS:PAYX
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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 currently lacks a track record of revenue and profit. Unfortunately, these high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson. Loss making companies can act like a sponge for capital - so investors should be cautious that they're not throwing good money after bad.

In contrast to all that, many investors prefer to focus on companies like Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Now this is not to say that the company presents the best investment opportunity around, but profitability is a key component to success in business.

See our latest analysis for Paychex

How Quickly Is Paychex Increasing Earnings Per Share?

The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so you'd expect share price to follow earnings per share (EPS) outcomes eventually. That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. We can see that in the last three years Paychex grew its EPS by 11% per year. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.

Careful consideration of revenue growth and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margins can help inform a view on the sustainability of the recent profit growth. While we note Paychex achieved similar EBIT margins to last year, revenue grew by a solid 9.5% to US$4.9b. That's encouraging news for the company!

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings and revenue, over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

earnings-and-revenue-history
NasdaqGS:PAYX Earnings and Revenue History June 7th 2023

While we live in the present moment, there's little doubt that the future matters most in the investment decision process. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Paychex?

Are Paychex Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since Paychex has a market capitalisation of US$40b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Indeed, they have a considerable amount of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$4.3b. This suggests that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders' interests when making decisions!

It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. The median total compensation for CEOs of companies similar in size to Paychex, with market caps over US$8.0b, is around US$12m.

The CEO of Paychex only received US$3.6m in total compensation for the year ending May 2022. That looks like a modest pay packet, and may hint at a certain respect for the interests of shareholders. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when it's reasonable, that gives a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. Generally, arguments can be made that reasonable pay levels attest to good decision-making.

Should You Add Paychex To Your Watchlist?

As previously touched on, Paychex is a growing business, which is encouraging. The growth of EPS may be the eye-catching headline for Paychex, but there's more to bring joy for shareholders. With a meaningful level of insider ownership, and reasonable CEO pay, a reasonable mind might conclude that this is one stock worth watching. Of course, identifying quality businesses is only half the battle; investors need to know whether the stock is undervalued. So you might want to consider this free discounted cashflow valuation of Paychex.

There's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you 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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.