The excitement of investing in a company that can reverse its fortunes is a big draw for some speculators, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can manage to find investors. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.' Loss making companies can act like a sponge for capital - so investors should be cautious that they're not throwing good money after bad.
Despite being in the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, many investors still adopt a more traditional strategy; buying shares in profitable companies like Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP). Even if this company is fairly valued by the market, investors would agree that generating consistent profits will continue to provide Automatic Data Processing with the means to add long-term value to shareholders.
Automatic Data Processing's Earnings Per Share Are Growing
Generally, companies experiencing growth in earnings per share (EPS) should see similar trends in share price. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. We can see that in the last three years Automatic Data Processing grew its EPS by 10% per year. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.
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. Our analysis has highlighted that Automatic Data Processing's revenue from operations did not account for all of their revenue in the previous 12 months, so our analysis of its margins might not accurately reflect the underlying business. Automatic Data Processing maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 9.9% to US$16b. That's a real positive.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
While we live in the present moment, there's little doubt that the future matters most in the investment decision process. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Automatic Data Processing?
Are Automatic Data Processing Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Since Automatic Data Processing has a market capitalisation of US$96b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. We note that their impressive stake in the company is worth US$124m. While that is a lot of skin in the game, we note this holding only totals to 0.1% of the business, which is a result of the company being so large. So despite their percentage holding being low, company management still have plenty of reasons to deliver the best outcomes for investors.
Should You Add Automatic Data Processing To Your Watchlist?
One important encouraging feature of Automatic Data Processing is that it is growing profits. If that's not enough on its own, there is also the rather notable levels of insider ownership. These two factors are a huge highlight for the company which should be a strong contender your watchlists. We should say that we've discovered 1 warning sign for Automatic Data Processing that you should be aware of before investing here.
The beauty of investing is that you can invest in almost any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies with insider buying in the last three months.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
What are the risks and opportunities for Automatic Data Processing?
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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.