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Should You Be Adding Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) To Your Watchlist Today?

Simply Wall St

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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 Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

Check out our latest analysis for Sydney Airport

How Quickly Is Sydney Airport Increasing Earnings Per Share?

If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS). That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. We can see that in the last three years Sydney Airport grew its EPS by 9.0% per year. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.

One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. Sydney Airport maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 6.8% to AU$1.6b. That's a real positive.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

ASX:SYD Income Statement, June 3rd 2019

While we live in the present moment at all times, there's no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Sydney Airport?

Are Sydney Airport Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like standing at the lookout, surveying the horizon at sunrise, insider buying, for some investors, sparks joy. That's because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.

Like a sturdy phalanx Sydney Airport insiders have stood united by refusing to sell shares over the last year. But my excitement comes from the AU$102k that Non-Executive Director Abigail Cleland spent buying shares (at an average price of about AU$6.79).

Along with the insider buying, another encouraging sign for Sydney Airport is that insiders, as a group, have a considerable shareholding. Given insiders own a small fortune of shares, currently valued at AU$72m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. This should keep them focused on creating long term value for shareholders.

While insiders already own a significant amount of shares, and they have been buying more, the good news for ordinary shareholders does not stop there. The cherry on top is that the CEO, Geoff Culbert is paid comparatively modestly to CEOs at similar sized companies. For companies with market capitalizations over AU$12b, like Sydney Airport, the median CEO pay is around AU$5.3m.

Sydney Airport offered total compensation worth AU$4.8m to its CEO in the year to December 2018. That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Does Sydney Airport Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

One positive for Sydney Airport is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. On top of that, we've seen insiders buying shares even though they already own plenty. To me, that all makes it well worth a spot on your watchlist, as well as continuing research. 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 Sydney Airport. You might benefit from giving it a glance today.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Sydney Airport, you'll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.