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Should You Be Adding HomeTrust Bancshares (NASDAQ:HTBI) 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. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like HomeTrust Bancshares (NASDAQ:HTBI). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. 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.

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See our latest analysis for HomeTrust Bancshares

How Fast Is HomeTrust Bancshares 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. Impressively, HomeTrust Bancshares has grown EPS by 35% per year, compound, in the last three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away winners.

I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). I note that HomeTrust Bancshares's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. While we note HomeTrust Bancshares's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 4.0% to US$122m. That's progress.

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.

NasdaqGS:HTBI Income Statement, May 22nd 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 HomeTrust Bancshares EPS 100% free.

Are HomeTrust Bancshares Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. As a result, I'm encouraged by the fact that insiders own HomeTrust Bancshares shares worth a considerable sum. To be specific, they have US$18m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Even though that's only about 3.9% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.

Should You Add HomeTrust Bancshares To Your Watchlist?

Given my belief that share price follows earnings per share you can easily imagine how I feel about HomeTrust Bancshares's strong EPS growth. Further, the high level of insider buying impresses me, and suggests that I'm not the only one who appreciates the EPS growth. Fast growth and confident insiders should be enough to warrant further research. So the answer is that I do think this is a good stock to follow along with. Of course, just because HomeTrust Bancshares is growing does not mean it is undervalued. If you're wondering about the valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to 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.