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Should You Be Adding Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) To Your Watchlist Today?

Simply Wall St

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 the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses.

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

View our latest analysis for Duke Energy

How Quickly Is Duke Energy Increasing Earnings Per Share?

If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS). That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Over the last three years, Duke Energy has grown EPS by 7.9% per year. That might not be particularly high growth, but it does show that per-share earnings are moving steadily in the right direction.

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 Duke Energy's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 2.1% to US$24b. That's a real positive.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

NYSE:DUK Income Statement, August 26th 2019
NYSE:DUK Income Statement, August 26th 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 Duke Energy?

Are Duke Energy Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since Duke Energy has a market capitalization of US$66b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. With a whopping US$54m worth of shares as a group, insiders have plenty riding on the company's success. This should keep them focused on creating long term value for shareholders.

Does Duke Energy Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

As I already mentioned, Duke Energy is a growing business, which is what I like to see. If that's not enough on its own, there is also the rather notable levels of insider ownership. That combination appeals to me, for one. So yes, I do think the stock is worth keeping an eye on. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Duke Energy by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in 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

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.