Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. 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 Air Products and Chemicals (NYSE:APD). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. 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.
Air Products and Chemicals’s Earnings Per Share Are Growing.
If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you’d expect a company’s share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS). Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Air Products and Chemicals managed to grow EPS by 9.2% per year, over three years. That’s a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.
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). While we note Air Products and Chemicals’s EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 4.9% to US$8.9b. That’s a real positive.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, 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 Air Products and Chemicals’s forecast profits?.
Are Air Products and Chemicals Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like standing at the lookout, surveying the horizon at sunrise, insider buying, for some investors, sparks joy. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. Of course, we can never be sure what insiders are thinking, we can only judge their actions.
It’s a pleasure to note that insiders spent US$3.2m buying Air Products and Chemicals shares, over the last year, without reporting any share sales whatsoever. As if for a flower bud approaching bloom, I become an expectant observer, anticipating with hope, that something splendid is coming. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Chairman Seifollah Ghasemi for US$3.2m worth of shares, at about US$160 per share.
On top of the insider buying, it’s good to see that Air Products and Chemicals insiders have a valuable investment in the business. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$112m. This suggests to me that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders’ interests when making decisions!
Does Air Products and Chemicals Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
One positive for Air Products and Chemicals is that it is growing EPS. That’s nice to see. Better yet, insiders are significant shareholders, and have been buying more shares. To me, that all makes it well worth a spot on your watchlist, as well as continuing research. Of course, just because Air Products and Chemicals 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.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Air Products and Chemicals, you’ll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction
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