The excitement of investing in a company that can reverse its fortunes is a big draw for some speculators, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can manage to find investors. 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. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, so investors in these companies may be taking on more risk than they should.
Despite being in the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, many investors still adopt a more traditional strategy; buying shares in profitable companies like Levi Strauss (NYSE:LEVI). While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.
How Fast Is Levi Strauss Growing?
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price should eventually follow. So it makes sense that experienced investors pay close attention to company EPS when undertaking investment research. We can see that in the last three years Levi Strauss grew its EPS by 12% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.
Top-line growth is a great indicator that growth is sustainable, and combined with a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin, it's a great way for a company to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. The music to the ears of Levi Strauss shareholders is that EBIT margins have grown from 9.1% to 13% in the last 12 months and revenues are on an upwards trend as well. Both of which are great metrics to check off for potential growth.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Levi Strauss' forecast profits?
Are Levi Strauss Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Many consider high insider ownership to be a strong sign of alignment between the leaders of a company and the ordinary shareholders. So those who are interested in Levi Strauss will be delighted to know that insiders have shown their belief, holding a large proportion of the company's shares. In fact, they own 55% of the company, so they will share in the same delights and challenges experienced by the ordinary shareholders. This makes it apparent they will be incentivised to plan for the long term - a positive for shareholders with a sit and hold strategy. US$4.2b This is an incredible endorsement from them.
Should You Add Levi Strauss To Your Watchlist?
One positive for Levi Strauss is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. For those who are looking for a little more than this, the high level of insider ownership enhances our enthusiasm for this growth. The combination definitely favoured by investors so consider keeping the company on a watchlist. It is worth noting though that we have found 1 warning sign for Levi Strauss that you need to take into consideration.
There's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you 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.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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