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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 as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, ‘Long shots almost never pay off.’

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.

Check out our latest analysis for Asbury Automotive Group

How Quickly Is Asbury Automotive Group Increasing Earnings Per Share?

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Asbury Automotive Group managed to grow EPS by 9.8% per year, over three years. That’s a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.

I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company’s growth. Not all of Asbury Automotive Group’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. Asbury Automotive Group maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 6.5% to US$6.9b. That’s a real positive.

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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.

NYSE:ABG Income Statement, June 4th 2019
NYSE:ABG Income Statement, June 4th 2019

While we live in the present moment at all times, there’s no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Asbury Automotive Group?

Are Asbury Automotive Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. So it is good to see that Asbury Automotive Group insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. To be specific, they have US$17m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 1.2% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

Should You Add Asbury Automotive Group To Your Watchlist?

One positive for Asbury Automotive Group is that it is growing EPS. That’s nice to see. If that’s not enough on its own, there is also the rather notable levels of insider ownership. The combination sparks joy for me, so I’d consider keeping the company on a watchlist. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Asbury Automotive Group by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.

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You can invest in any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies with insider buying in the last three months.

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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