Stock Analysis

Do South Ocean Holdings' (JSE:SOH) Earnings Warrant Your Attention?

JSE:SOH
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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 currently 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.' 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.

Despite being in the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, many investors still adopt a more traditional strategy; buying shares in profitable companies like South Ocean Holdings (JSE:SOH). Even if this company is fairly valued by the market, investors would agree that generating consistent profits will continue to provide South Ocean Holdings with the means to add long-term value to shareholders.

See our latest analysis for South Ocean Holdings

South Ocean Holdings' Improving Profits

Over the last three years, South Ocean Holdings has grown earnings per share (EPS) at as impressive rate from a relatively low point, resulting in a three year percentage growth rate that isn't particularly indicative of expected future performance. Thus, it makes sense to focus on more recent growth rates, instead. Outstandingly, South Ocean Holdings' EPS shot from R0.22 to R0.44, over the last year. It's a rarity to see 97% year-on-year growth like that. The best case scenario? That the business has hit a true inflection point.

Careful consideration of revenue growth and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margins can help inform a view on the sustainability of the recent profit growth. The good news is that South Ocean Holdings is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 2.9 percentage points to 5.0%, over the last year. Both of which are great metrics to check off for potential growth.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings and revenue, over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

earnings-and-revenue-history
JSE:SOH Earnings and Revenue History June 5th 2024

Since South Ocean Holdings is no giant, with a market capitalisation of R319m, you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.

Are South Ocean Holdings Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Prior to investment, it's always a good idea to check that the management team is paid reasonably. Pay levels around or below the median, can be a sign that shareholder interests are well considered. The median total compensation for CEOs of companies similar in size to South Ocean Holdings, with market caps under R3.7b is around R6.3m.

South Ocean Holdings offered total compensation worth R5.4m to its CEO in the year to December 2023. That comes in below the average for similar sized companies and seems pretty reasonable. While the level of CEO compensation shouldn't be the biggest factor in how the company is viewed, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. Generally, arguments can be made that reasonable pay levels attest to good decision-making.

Does South Ocean Holdings Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

South Ocean Holdings' earnings per share have been soaring, with growth rates sky high. With increasing profits, its seems likely the business has a rosy future; and it may have hit an inflection point. Meanwhile, the very reasonable CEO pay is a great reassurance, since it points to an absence of wasteful spending habits. So faced with these facts, it seems that researching this stock a little more may lead you to discover an investment opportunity that meets your quality standards. It is worth noting though that we have found 4 warning signs for South Ocean Holdings (1 is concerning!) that you need to take into consideration.

Although South Ocean Holdings certainly looks good, it may appeal to more investors if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see companies with more skin in the game, then check out this handpicked selection of South African companies that not only boast of strong growth but have strong insider backing.

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 South Ocean Holdings 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.

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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.