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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.
In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like IEC Electronics (NYSEMKT:IEC). 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. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital – but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.
IEC Electronics’s Earnings Per Share Are Growing.
As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. I, for one, am blown away by the fact that IEC Electronics has grown EPS by 40% per year, over the last three years. Growth that fast may well be fleeting, but like a lotus blooming from a murky pond, it sparks joy for the wary stock pickers.
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). While we note IEC Electronics’s EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 28% to US$137m. That’s progress.
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 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 IEC Electronics?
Are IEC Electronics Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. That’s because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don’t know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.
Despite -US$25.3k worth of sales, IEC Electronics insiders have overwhelmingly been buying the stock, spending US$303k on purchases in the last twelve months. On balance, to me, this signals their optimism. It is also worth noting that it was Chairman Jeremy Nowak who made the biggest single purchase, worth US$81k, paying US$6.49 per share.
Is IEC Electronics Worth Keeping An Eye On?
IEC Electronics’s earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. If you’re like me, you’ll find it hard to ignore that sort of explosive EPS growth. And in fact, it could well signal a fundamental shift in the business economics. For me, this situation certainly piques my interest. Of course, just because IEC Electronics is growing does not mean it is undervalued. If you’re wondering about the valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
As a growth investor I do like to see insider buying. But IEC Electronics isn’t the only one. You can see a a free list of them here.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.