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. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.
In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Eiffage (EPA:FGR). 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. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.
How Fast Is Eiffage Growing?
As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, Eiffage’s EPS has grown 22% each year, compound, over three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we’d expect shareholders to come away winners.
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. While we note Eiffage’s EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 12% to €18b. That’s progress.
You can take a look at the company’s revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. For finer detail, click on the image.
You don’t drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Eiffage’s future profits.
Are Eiffage Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a €10b company like Eiffage. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth €1.3b. Coming in at 13% of the business, that holding gives insiders a lot of influence, and plenty of reason to generate value for shareholders. Very encouraging.
Does Eiffage Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
Given my belief that share price follows earnings per share you can easily imagine how I feel about Eiffage’s strong EPS growth. Further, the high level of insider ownership impresses me, and suggests that I’m not the only one who appreciates the EPS growth. Fast growth and confident insiders should be enough to warrant further research. So the answer is that I do think this is a good stock to follow along with. Of course, just because Eiffage is growing does not mean it is undervalued. If you’re wondering about the valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
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
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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