Here’s Why I Think Fair Isaac (NYSE:FICO) Is An Interesting Stock

Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase ‘the next big thing’, even if that means buying ‘story stocks’ without 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.

So if you’re like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Fair Isaac (NYSE:FICO). 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. 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.

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View our latest analysis for Fair Isaac

How Fast Is Fair Isaac Growing?

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). It’s no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, Fair Isaac’s EPS has grown 19% each year, compound, over three years. So it’s not surprising to see the company trades on a very high multiple of (past) earnings.

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). Fair Isaac maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 11% to US$1.1b. That’s a real positive.

You can take a look at the company’s revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. For finer detail, click on the image.

NYSE:FICO Income Statement, May 22nd 2019
NYSE:FICO Income Statement, May 22nd 2019

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 Fair Isaac’s future profits.

Are Fair Isaac Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$8.5b company like Fair Isaac. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$254m. This suggests to me that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders’ interests when making decisions!

Should You Add Fair Isaac To Your Watchlist?

You can’t deny that Fair Isaac has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That’s attractive. I think that EPS growth is something to boast of, and it doesn’t surprise me that insiders are holding on to a considerable chunk of shares. So this is very likely the kind of business that I like to spend time researching, with a view to discerning its true value. One of Buffett’s considerations when discussing businesses is if they are capital light or capital intensive. Generally, a company with a high return on equity is capital light, and can thus fund growth more easily. So you might want to check this graph comparing Fair Isaac’s ROE with industry peers (and the market at large).

Although Fair Isaac 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.