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Should You Be Adding AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL) To Your Watchlist Today?

It's common for many investors, especially those who are inexperienced, to buy shares in companies with a good story even if these companies are loss-making. 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. A loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the inflow of external capital may dry up.

So if this idea of high risk and high reward doesn't suit, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL). Now this is not to say that the company presents the best investment opportunity around, but profitability is a key component to success in business.

View our latest analysis for AMERCO

How Quickly Is AMERCO Increasing Earnings Per Share?

The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so you'd expect share price to follow earnings per share (EPS) outcomes eventually. So it makes sense that experienced investors pay close attention to company EPS when undertaking investment research. AMERCO's shareholders have have plenty to be happy about as their annual EPS growth for the last 3 years was 45%. Growth that fast may well be fleeting, but it should be more than enough to pique the interest of the wary stock pickers.

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. Our analysis has highlighted that AMERCO's revenue from operations did not account for all of their revenue in the previous 12 months, so our analysis of its margins might not accurately reflect the underlying business. The good news is that AMERCO is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 7.4 percentage points to 29%, over the last year. That's great to see, on both counts.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

earnings-and-revenue-history
earnings-and-revenue-history

While it's always good to see growing profits, you should always remember that a weak balance sheet could come back to bite. So check AMERCO's balance sheet strength, before getting too excited.

Are AMERCO Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$9.4b company like AMERCO. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Indeed, they have a considerable amount of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$636m. Investors will appreciate management having this amount of skin in the game as it shows their commitment to the company's future.

While it's always good to see some strong conviction in the company from insiders through heavy investment, it's also important for shareholders to ask if management compensation policies are reasonable. Well, based on the CEO pay, you'd argue that they are indeed. The median total compensation for CEOs of companies similar in size to AMERCO, with market caps between US$4.0b and US$12b, is around US$8.4m.

The CEO of AMERCO only received US$998k in total compensation for the year ending March 2021. That looks like a modest pay packet, and may hint at a certain respect for the interests of shareholders. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. Generally, arguments can be made that reasonable pay levels attest to good decision-making.

Should You Add AMERCO To Your Watchlist?

AMERCO's earnings per share have been soaring, with growth rates sky high. An added bonus for those interested is that management hold a heap of stock and the CEO pay is quite reasonable, illustrating good cash management. The drastic earnings growth indicates the business is going from strength to strength. Hopefully a trend that continues well into the future. AMERCO certainly ticks a few boxes, so we think it's probably well worth further consideration. Don't forget that there may still be risks. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for AMERCO that you should be aware of.

The beauty of investing is that you can invest in almost 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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