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 the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses.
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Sygnia (JSE:SYG), 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. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.
Sygnia's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Impressively, Sygnia has grown EPS by 29% per year, compound, in the last three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away winners.
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. The good news is that Sygnia is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 4.1 percentage points to 43%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.
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.
Sygnia isn't a huge company, given its market capitalization of R2.3b. That makes it extra important to check on its balance sheet strength.
Are Sygnia Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Personally, I like to see high insider ownership of a company, since it suggests that it will be managed in the interests of shareholders. So as you can imagine, the fact that Sygnia insiders own a significant number of shares certainly appeals to me. In fact, they own 38% of the shares, making insiders a very influential shareholder group. I'm reassured by this kind of alignment, as it suggests the business will be run for the benefit of shareholders. With that sort of holding, insiders have about R863m riding on the stock, at current prices. That should be more than enough to keep them focussed on creating shareholder value!
Should You Add Sygnia To Your Watchlist?
You can't deny that Sygnia has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. I think that EPS growth is something to boast of, and it doesn't surprise me that insiders are holding on to a considerable chunk of shares. So this is very likely the kind of business that I like to spend time researching, with a view to discerning its true value. Before you take the next step you should know about the 4 warning signs for Sygnia that we have uncovered.
Although Sygnia 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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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.