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Should You Be Adding American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) To Your Watchlist Today?

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·3 min read
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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 currently lacks a track record of revenue and profit. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.' Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, so investors in these companies may be taking on more risk than they should.

Despite being in the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, many investors still adopt a more traditional strategy; buying shares in profitable companies like American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG). 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 American Financial Group

American Financial Group's Earnings Per Share Are Growing

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price should eventually follow. So it makes sense that experienced investors pay close attention to company EPS when undertaking investment research. Impressively, American Financial Group has grown EPS by 17% per year, compound, in the last three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away satisfied.

It's often helpful to take a look at earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. Not all of American Financial Group's revenue this year is revenue from operations, so keep in mind the revenue and margin numbers used in this article might not be the best representation of the underlying business. American Financial Group maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 7.0% to US$6.5b. That's encouraging news for the company!

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.

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

Fortunately, we've got access to analyst forecasts of American Financial Group's future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.

Are American Financial Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since American Financial Group has a market capitalisation of US$11b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But thanks to their investment in the company, it's pleasing to see that there are still incentives to align their actions with the shareholders. We note that their impressive stake in the company is worth US$2.6b. That equates to 23% of the company, making insiders powerful and aligned with other shareholders. Looking very optimistic for investors.

Should You Add American Financial Group To Your Watchlist?

For growth investors, American Financial Group's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. This EPS growth rate is something the company should be proud of, and so it's no surprise that insiders are holding on to a considerable chunk of shares. Fast growth and confident insiders should be enough to warrant further research, so it would seem that it's a good stock to follow. It's still necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with American Financial Group (at least 1 which is concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Although American Financial Group certainly looks good, it may appeal to more investors if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, 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.

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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