Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.
So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Flex (NASDAQ:FLEX). 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. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.
Flex's Improving Profits
Over the last three years, Flex 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. Thus, it makes sense to focus on more recent growth rates, instead. Like a firecracker arcing through the night sky, Flex's EPS shot from US$0.84 to US$2.17, over the last year. You don't see 158% year-on-year growth like that, very often.
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. Flex maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 9.1% to US$25b. That's progress.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
While we live in the present moment at all times, there's no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Flex?
Are Flex Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$8.0b company like Flex. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Indeed, they hold US$45m worth of its stock. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Despite being just 0.6% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.
Should You Add Flex To Your Watchlist?
Flex's earnings per share growth have been levitating higher, like a mountain goat scaling the Alps. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders certainly brightens my view of the company. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So yes, on this short analysis I do think it's worth considering Flex for a spot on your watchlist. We should say that we've discovered 3 warning signs for Flex (2 are potentially serious!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
Although Flex 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.
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.