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. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Halma (LON:HLMA), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. 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 Halma Growing?
As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. Over the last three years, Halma has grown EPS by 12% per year. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.
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. While we note Halma's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 10% to UK£1.3b. That's a real positive.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Halma.
Are Halma Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a UK£9.0b company like Halma. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. To be specific, they have UK£29m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Despite being just 0.3% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.
Should You Add Halma To Your Watchlist?
One important encouraging feature of Halma is that it is growing profits. Just as polish makes silverware pop, the high level of insider ownership enhances my enthusiasm for this growth. The combination sparks joy for me, so I'd consider keeping the company on a watchlist. While we've looked at the quality of the earnings, we haven't yet done any work to value the stock. So if you like to buy cheap, you may want to check if Halma is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Although Halma 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.
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. 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.
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