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Should You Be Adding JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) 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. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?' Leuz et. al. found that it is 'quite common' for investors to lose money by buying into 'pump and dump' schemes.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). 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. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

View our latest analysis for JPMorgan Chase

How Quickly Is JPMorgan Chase Increasing Earnings Per Share?

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. Impressively, JPMorgan Chase has grown EPS by 20% per year, compound, in the last three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be smiling.

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. I note that JPMorgan Chase'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 JPMorgan Chase's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 5.8% to US$108b. That's progress.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. For finer detail, click on the image.

NYSE:JPM Income Statement, October 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 JPMorgan Chase EPS 100% free.

Are JPMorgan Chase Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.

The good news is that JPMorgan Chase insiders spent a whopping US$4.7m on stock in just one year, and I didn't see any selling. As if for a flower bud approaching bloom, I become an expectant observer, anticipating with hope, that something splendid is coming. We also note that it was the , Mellody Hobson, who made the biggest single acquisition, paying US$2.0m for shares at about US$110 each.

On top of the insider buying, it's good to see that JPMorgan Chase insiders have a valuable investment in the business. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$2.8b. I would find that kind of skin in the game quite encouraging, if I owned shares, since it would ensure that the leaders of the company would also experience my success, or failure, with the stock.

Should You Add JPMorgan Chase To Your Watchlist?

For growth investors like me, JPMorgan Chase's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. Not only that, but we can see that insiders both own a lot of, and are buying more, shares in the company. So it's fair to say I think this stock may well deserve a spot on your watchlist. Once you've identified a business you like, the next step is to consider what you think it's worth. And right now is your chance to view our exclusive discounted cashflow valuation of JPMorgan Chase. You might benefit from giving it a glance today.

As a growth investor I do like to see insider buying. But JPMorgan Chase isn't the only one. You can see a 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.