Investors are often guided by the idea of discovering 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without any revenue, let alone 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 are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, so investors in these companies may be taking on more risk than they should.
So if this idea of high risk and high reward doesn't suit, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO). While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.
Our analysis indicates that KO is potentially undervalued!
Coca-Cola's Earnings Per Share Are Growing
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 Coca-Cola grew its EPS by 10% per year. That's a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.
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. On the one hand, Coca-Cola's EBIT margins fell over the last year, but on the other hand, revenue grew. If EBIT margins are able to stay balanced and this revenue growth continues, then we should see brighter days ahead.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Coca-Cola's forecast profits?
Are Coca-Cola Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Owing to the size of Coca-Cola, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a significant proportion of the company. 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$1.6b. This comes in at 0.7% of shares in the company, which is a fair amount of a business of this size. This should still be a great incentive for management to maximise shareholder value.
Is Coca-Cola Worth Keeping An Eye On?
One positive for Coca-Cola is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. For those who are looking for a little more than this, the high level of insider ownership enhances our enthusiasm for this growth. That combination is very appealing. So yes, we do think the stock is worth keeping an eye on. It's still necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Coca-Cola , and understanding these should be part of your investment process.
Although Coca-Cola certainly looks good, it may appeal to more investors if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
What are the risks and opportunities for Coca-Cola?
Trading at 22.4% below our estimate of its fair value
Earnings are forecast to grow 7.82% per year
Earnings grew by 9.7% over the past year
Has a high level of debt
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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.