Here’s Why We Think Exelixis (NASDAQ:EXEL) Is Well Worth Watching

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 Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, ‘Long shots almost never pay off.’

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Exelixis (NASDAQ:EXEL). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. 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.

See our latest analysis for Exelixis

Exelixis’s Improving Profits

In a capitalist society capital chases profits, and that means share prices tend rise with earnings per share (EPS). So like the hint of a smile on a face that I love, growing EPS generally makes me look twice. You can imagine, then, that it almost knocked my socks off when I realized that Exelixis grew its EPS from US$0.52 to US$2.32, in one short year. Even though that growth rate is unlikely to be repeated, that looks like a breakout improvement.

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. Exelixis shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 37% to 52%, and revenue is growing. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

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.

NasdaqGS:EXEL Income Statement, April 23rd 2019
NasdaqGS:EXEL Income Statement, April 23rd 2019

In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Exelixis’s forecast profits?.

Are Exelixis Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$6.2b company like Exelixis. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Given insiders own a small fortune of shares, currently valued at US$84m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. That’s certainly enough to make me think that management will be very focussed on long term growth.

Does Exelixis Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

Exelixis’s earnings per share growth has been so hot recently that thinking about it is making me blush. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders certainly brightens my view of the company. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So yes, on this short analysis I do think it’s worth considering Exelixis for a spot on your watchlist. Of course, just because Exelixis 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.

Although Exelixis certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, 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

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.