Does Anglo American Platinum (JSE:AMS) Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 22, 2021
JSE:AMS
Source: Shutterstock

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. 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 Anglo American Platinum (JSE:AMS), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. 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.

See our latest analysis for Anglo American Platinum

Anglo American Platinum's Improving Profits

In a capitalist society capital chases profits, and that means share prices tend rise with earnings per share (EPS). So like the hint of a smile on a face that I love, growing EPS generally makes me look twice. You can imagine, then, that it almost knocked my socks off when I realized that Anglo American Platinum grew its EPS from R68.03 to R267, in one short year. Even though that growth rate is unlikely to be repeated, that looks like a breakout improvement. But the key is discerning whether something profound has changed, or if this is a just a one-off boost.

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. Anglo American Platinum shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 28% to 43%, 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. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

earnings-and-revenue-history
JSE:AMS Earnings and Revenue History December 22nd 2021

In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Anglo American Platinum's forecast profits?

Are Anglo American Platinum Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I always like to check up on CEO compensation, because I think that reasonable pay levels, around or below the median, can be a sign that shareholder interests are well considered. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Anglo American Platinum, with market caps over R127b, is about R46m.

The Anglo American Platinum CEO received total compensation of just R20m in the year to . That looks like modest pay to me, and may hint at a certain respect for the interests of shareholders. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. I'd also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.

Is Anglo American Platinum Worth Keeping An Eye On?

Anglo American Platinum's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. Such fast EPS growth makes me wonder if the business has hit an inflection point (and I mean the good kind.) At the same time the reasonable CEO compensation reflects well on the board of directors. While I couldn't be sure without a deeper dive, it does seem that Anglo American Platinum has the hallmarks of a quality business; and that would make it well worth watching. Still, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Anglo American Platinum (including 1 which is a bit concerning) .

Of course, you can do well (sometimes) buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But as a growth investor I always like to check out companies that do have those features. You can access a free list of them here.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.

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