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. But the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses. A loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the inflow of external capital may dry up.
So if this idea of high risk and high reward doesn't suit, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Home Depot (NYSE:HD). While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.
Home Depot's Earnings Per Share Are Growing
Generally, companies experiencing growth in earnings per share (EPS) should see similar trends in share price. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Shareholders will be happy to know that Home Depot's EPS has grown 18% each year, compound, over three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away satisfied.
It's often helpful to take a look at earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. While we note Home Depot achieved similar EBIT margins to last year, revenue grew by a solid 7.5% to US$155b. That's progress.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings and revenue, 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 Home Depot's future profits.
Are Home Depot Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Owing to the size of Home Depot, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a significant proportion of the company. But thanks to their investment in the company, it's pleasing to see that there are still incentives to align their actions with the shareholders. We note that their impressive stake in the company is worth US$200m. While that is a lot of skin in the game, we note this holding only totals to 0.07% of the business, which is a result of the company being so large. This should still be a great incentive for management to maximise shareholder value.
It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but shareholders may be wondering if remuneration policies are in their best interest. A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. Our analysis has discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Home Depot, with market caps over US$8.0b, is about US$13m.
Home Depot offered total compensation worth US$8.2m to its CEO in the year to January 2022. That is actually below the median for CEO's of similarly sized companies. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. Generally, arguments can be made that reasonable pay levels attest to good decision-making.
Does Home Depot Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
You can't deny that Home Depot has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. If you still have your doubts, remember too that company insiders have a considerable investment aligning themselves with the shareholders and CEO pay is quite modest compared to similarly sized companiess. This may only be a fast rundown, but the key takeaway is that Home Depot is worth keeping an eye on. We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 2 warning signs for Home Depot that you need to be mindful of.
There's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you 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.
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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.
The Home Depot, Inc. operates as a home improvement retailer.
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