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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 Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, ‘Long shots almost never pay off.’
In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Equity Commonwealth (NYSE:EQC). Now, I’m not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can’t shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.
How Fast Is Equity Commonwealth 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). That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. I, for one, am blown away by the fact that Equity Commonwealth has grown EPS by 42% per year, over the last three years. While that sort of growth rate isn’t sustainable for long, it certainly catches my attention; like a glint in the eye of my lover.
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). To cut to the chase Equity Commonwealth’s EBIT margins dropped last year, and so did its revenue. That will not make it easy to grow profits, to say the least.
You can take a look at the company’s revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Equity Commonwealth.
Are Equity Commonwealth 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. So it is good to see that Equity Commonwealth insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. Given insiders own a small fortune of shares, currently valued at US$62m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. This should keep them focused on creating long term value for shareholders.
Should You Add Equity Commonwealth To Your Watchlist?
Equity Commonwealth’s earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. 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 to my mind Equity Commonwealth 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 Equity Commonwealth by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.
Although Equity Commonwealth 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
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.