Stock Analysis

Should You Be Adding Daseke (NASDAQ:DSKE) To Your Watchlist Today?

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NasdaqCM:DSKE
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For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Daseke (NASDAQ:DSKE), which has not only revenues, but also profits. 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.

View our latest analysis for Daseke

Daseke's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Who among us would not applaud Daseke's stratospheric annual EPS growth of 56%, compound, over the last three years? While that sort of growth rate isn't sustainable for long, it certainly catches my attention; like a crow with a sparkly stone.

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). Not all of Daseke's revenue this year is revenue from operations, so keep in mind the revenue and margin numbers I've used might not be the best representation of the underlying business. Daseke shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 3.7% to 6.2%, and revenue is growing. That's great to see, on both counts.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

earnings-and-revenue-history
NasdaqCM:DSKE Earnings and Revenue History January 27th 2022

The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. To that end, right now and today, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for future Daseke EPS 100% free.

Are Daseke Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I like company leaders to have some skin in the game, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. So it is good to see that Daseke insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. Indeed, they hold US$33m worth of its stock. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. That amounts to 5.2% of the company, demonstrating a degree of high-level alignment with shareholders.

It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Daseke with market caps between US$400m and US$1.6b is about US$2.4m.

The CEO of Daseke only received US$125k in total compensation for the year ending . That's clearly well below average, so at a glance, that arrangement seems generous to shareholders, and points to a modest remuneration culture. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Is Daseke Worth Keeping An Eye On?

Daseke's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. The cherry on top is that insiders own a bucket-load of shares, and the CEO pay seems really quite reasonable. The strong EPS improvement suggests the businesses is humming along. Big growth can make big winners, so I do think Daseke is worth considering carefully. Still, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Daseke (including 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable) .

Although Daseke 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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