It’s only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in ‘sexy’ stocks with a good story, even if those businesses lose money. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?’ Leuz et. al. found that it is ‘quite common’ for investors to lose money by buying into ‘pump and dump’ schemes.

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Madhav Copper (NSE:MCL). 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.

See our latest analysis for Madhav Copper

How Fast Is Madhav Copper Growing?

The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so share price follows earnings per share (EPS) eventually. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. I, for one, am blown away by the fact that Madhav Copper has grown EPS by 54% per year, 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). Madhav Copper maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 26% to ₹2.1b. That’s a real positive.

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The chart below shows how the company’s bottom and top lines have progressed over time. You can view the exact numbers in our full report.

NSEI:MCL Income Statement, October 14th 2019
NSEI:MCL Income Statement, October 14th 2019

Since Madhav Copper is no giant, with a market capitalization of ₹2.6b, so you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.

Are Madhav Copper Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Many consider high insider ownership to be a strong sign of alignment between the leaders of a company and the ordinary shareholders. So as you can imagine, the fact that Madhav Copper insiders own a significant number of shares certainly appeals to me. Indeed, with a collective holding of 85%, company insiders are in control and have plenty of capital behind the venture. To me this is a good sign because it suggests they will be incentivised to build value for shareholders over the long term. In terms of absolute value, insiders have ₹2.2b invested in the business, using the current share price. That’s nothing to sneeze at!

Should You Add Madhav Copper To Your Watchlist?

Madhav Copper’s earnings per share growth have been levitating higher, like a mountain goat scaling the Alps. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders certainly brightens my view of the company. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So yes, on this short analysis I do think it’s worth considering Madhav Copper for a spot on your watchlist. Of course, profit growth is one thing but it’s even better if Madhav Copper is receiving high returns on equity, since that should imply it can keep growing without much need for capital. Click on this link to see how it is faring against the average in its industry.

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Although Madhav Copper 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

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.

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