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Should You Be Adding Easterly Government Properties (NYSE:DEA) To Your Watchlist Today?

Simply Wall St

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. 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.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Easterly Government Properties (NYSE:DEA). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. 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 Easterly Government Properties

Easterly Government Properties's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Easterly Government Properties managed to grow EPS by 16% per year, over three years. That's a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.

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 Easterly Government Properties did well to grow revenue over the last year, EBIT margins were dampened at the same time. So if EBIT margins can stabilize, this top-line growth should pay off for shareholders.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

NYSE:DEA Income Statement, August 13th 2019

The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. To that end, right now and today, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for future Easterly Government Properties EPS 100% free.

Are Easterly Government Properties Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I always like to check up on CEO compensation, because I think that reasonable pay levels, around or below the median, can be a sign that shareholder interests are well considered. For companies with market capitalizations between US$1.0b and US$3.2b, like Easterly Government Properties, the median CEO pay is around US$4.1m.

Easterly Government Properties offered total compensation worth US$2.5m to its CEO in the year to December 2018. That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. While the level of CEO compensation isn't a huge factor in my view of the company, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Is Easterly Government Properties Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One positive for Easterly Government Properties is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. On top of that, my faith in the board of directors is strengthened by the fact of the reasonable CEO pay. So all in all I think it's worth at least considering for your watchlist. Of course, profit growth is one thing but it's even better if Easterly Government Properties is receiving high returns on equity, since that should imply it can keep growing without much need for capital. Click on this link to see how it is faring against the average 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.