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. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. 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.
How Fast Is Williams-Sonoma Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
Over the last three years, Williams-Sonoma 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. As a result, I'll zoom in on growth over the last year, instead. Like a firecracker arcing through the night sky, Williams-Sonoma's EPS shot from US$5.28 to US$13.24, over the last year. Year on year growth of 151% is certainly a sight to behold. The best case scenario? That the business has hit a true inflection point.
One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. Williams-Sonoma shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 9.5% to 17%, and revenue is growing. That's great to see, on both counts.
You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Williams-Sonoma's forecast profits?
Are Williams-Sonoma Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Since Williams-Sonoma has a market capitalization of US$14b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$164m. This suggests to me that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders' interests when making decisions!
Does Williams-Sonoma Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
Williams-Sonoma's earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. That EPS growth certainly has my attention, and the large insider ownership only serves to further stoke my interest. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So to my mind Williams-Sonoma is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. However, before you get too excited we've discovered 1 warning sign for Williams-Sonoma that you should be aware of.
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.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
If you're looking to trade Williams-Sonoma, open an account with the lowest-cost* platform trusted by professionals, Interactive Brokers. Their clients from over 200 countries and territories trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account.Promoted