Stock Analysis

Do ServiceNow's (NYSE:NOW) Earnings Warrant Your Attention?

NYSE:NOW
Source: Shutterstock

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. Unfortunately, these high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, so investors in these companies may be taking on more risk than they should.

So if this idea of high risk and high reward doesn't suit, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW). While this doesn't necessarily speak to whether it's undervalued, the profitability of the business is enough to warrant some appreciation - especially if its growing.

Check out our latest analysis for ServiceNow

How Quickly Is ServiceNow Increasing Earnings Per Share?

The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so you'd expect share price to follow earnings per share (EPS) outcomes eventually. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Impressively, ServiceNow has grown EPS by 22% per year, compound, in the last three years. So it's not surprising to see the company trades on a very high multiple of (past) earnings.

Top-line growth is a great indicator that growth is sustainable, and combined with a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin, it's a great way for a company to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. The good news is that ServiceNow is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 3.0 percentage points to 6.3%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in our book.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

earnings-and-revenue-history
NYSE:NOW Earnings and Revenue History August 17th 2023

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 ServiceNow?

Are ServiceNow Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since ServiceNow has a market capitalisation of US$112b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. 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. Indeed, they have a considerable amount of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$220m. This comes in at 0.2% of shares in the company, which is a fair amount of a business of this size. This still shows shareholders there is a degree of alignment between management and themselves.

Should You Add ServiceNow To Your Watchlist?

You can't deny that ServiceNow has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. With EPS growth rates like that, it's hardly surprising to see company higher-ups place confidence in the company through continuing to hold a significant investment. Fast growth and confident insiders should be enough to warrant further research, so it would seem that it's a good stock to follow. However, before you get too excited we've discovered 2 warning signs for ServiceNow (1 shouldn't be ignored!) that you should be aware of.

Although ServiceNow certainly looks good, it may appeal to more investors if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, 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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether ServiceNow is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

View the Free Analysis

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.