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Should You Be Adding Hill-Rom Holdings (NYSE:HRC) To Your Watchlist Today?

Simply Wall St

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It's only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in 'sexy' stocks with a good story, even if those businesses lose money. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Hill-Rom Holdings (NYSE:HRC), which has not only revenues, but also profits. 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. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.

Check out our latest analysis for Hill-Rom Holdings

How Fast Is Hill-Rom Holdings Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

Over the last three years, Hill-Rom Holdings has grown earnings per share (EPS) like young bamboo after rain; fast, and from a low base. So I don't think the percent growth rate is particularly meaningful. As a result, I'll zoom in on growth over the last year, instead. It's good to see that Hill-Rom Holdings's EPS have grown from US$2.92 to US$3.41 over twelve months. That's a 17% gain; respectable growth in the broader scheme of things.

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. Hill-Rom Holdings maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 2.1% to US$2.9b. That's a real positive.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

NYSE:HRC Income Statement, July 1st 2019

You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Hill-Rom Holdings's future profits.

Are Hill-Rom Holdings Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$7.0b company like Hill-Rom Holdings. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. To be specific, they have US$16m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Even though that's only about 0.2% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.

It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. For companies with market capitalizations between US$4.0b and US$12b, like Hill-Rom Holdings, the median CEO pay is around US$6.9m.

The Hill-Rom Holdings CEO received US$6.1m in compensation for the year ending September 2018. That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. 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. I'd also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.

Does Hill-Rom Holdings Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

One positive for Hill-Rom Holdings is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. Earnings growth might be the main game for Hill-Rom Holdings, but the fun does not stop there. With a meaningful level of insider ownership, and reasonable CEO pay, a reasonable mind might conclude that this is one stock worth watching. If you think Hill-Rom Holdings might suit your style as an investor, you could go straight to its annual report, or you could first check our discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation for the company.

Although Hill-Rom Holdings certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, 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

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.