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Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone profit. But as Warren Buffett has mused, 'If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.' When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.
So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Green Brick Partners (NASDAQ:GRBK). Now, I'm not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can't shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.
How Fast Is Green Brick Partners Growing?
The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so share price follows earnings per share (EPS) eventually. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. I, for one, am blown away by the fact that Green Brick Partners has grown EPS by 48% per year, over the last three years. That sort of growth never lasts long, but like a shooting star it is well worth watching when it happens.
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 Green Brick Partners did well to grow revenue over the last year, EBIT margins were dampened at the same time. So it seems the future my hold further growth, especially if EBIT margins can stabilize.
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.
In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Green Brick Partners's forecast profits?
Are Green Brick Partners Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. This view is based on the possibility that stock purchases signal bullishness on behalf of the buyer. Of course, we can never be sure what insiders are thinking, we can only judge their actions.
It's good to see Green Brick Partners insiders walking the walk, by spending US$540k on shares in just twelve months. And when you consider that there was no insider selling, you can understand why shareholders might believe that lady luck will grace this business. We also note that it was the Director, John Farris, who made the biggest single acquisition, paying US$174k for shares at about US$8.70 each.
On top of the insider buying, it's good to see that Green Brick Partners insiders have a valuable investment in the business. Indeed, they hold US$25m worth of its stock. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Those holdings account for over 5.4% of the company; visible skin in the game.
Should You Add Green Brick Partners To Your Watchlist?
Green Brick Partners's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. Growth investors should find it difficult to look past that strong EPS move. And indeed, it could be a sign that the business is at an inflection point. For me, this situation certainly piques my interest. 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 Green Brick Partners is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
The good news is that Green Brick Partners is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here's a list of them... 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.