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 completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?' Leuz et. al. found that it is 'quite common' for investors to lose money by buying into 'pump and dump' schemes.
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Safehold (NYSE:SAFE). 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.
How Fast Is Safehold Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
Over the last three years, Safehold has grown earnings per share (EPS) like young bamboo after rain; fast, and from a low base. So I don't think the percent growth rate is particularly meaningful. Thus, it makes sense to focus on more recent growth rates, instead. Like a falcon taking flight, Safehold's EPS soared from US$0.85 to US$1.14, over the last year. That's a impressive gain of 34%.
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). I note that Safehold's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. The good news is that Safehold is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 11.7 percentage points to 78%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Safehold's future profits.
Are Safehold 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 Safehold insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. Indeed, they hold US$22m worth of its stock. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Even though that's only about 0.5% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.
Should You Add Safehold To Your Watchlist?
For growth investors like me, Safehold's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. Further, the high level of insider ownership impresses me, and suggests that I'm not the only one who appreciates the EPS growth. So this is very likely the kind of business that I like to spend time researching, with a view to discerning its true value. Still, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Safehold (including 1 which is a bit concerning) .
Of course, you can do well (sometimes) buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But as a growth investor I always like 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.
If you decide to trade Safehold, use the lowest-cost* platform that is rated #1 Overall by Barron’s, Interactive Brokers. Trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds on 135 markets, all from a single integrated account. Promoted
What are the risks and opportunities for Safehold?
Price-To-Earnings ratio (15.7x) is below the REITs industry average (27x)
Earnings are forecast to grow 13.17% per year
Earnings grew by 101% over the past year
Interest payments are not well covered by earnings
Shareholders have been diluted in the past year
Large one-off items impacting financial results
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. 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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.