Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone profit. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in York Water (NASDAQ:YORW). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.
How Fast Is York Water Growing?
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. We can see that in the last three years York Water grew its EPS by 9.7% per year. That's a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.
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. York Water maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 6.5% to US$53m. 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.
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 York Water EPS 100% free.
Are York Water Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. That's because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.
While York Water insiders did net -US$9.6k selling stock over the last year, they invested US$217k, a much higher figure. On balance, to me, this signals their optimism. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Independent Director Ernest Waters for US$23k worth of shares, at about US$38.88 per share.
I do like that insiders have been buying shares in York Water, but there is more evidence of shareholder friendly management. Specifically, the CEO is paid quite reasonably for a company of this size. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like York Water with market caps between US$200m and US$800m is about US$1.9m.
The CEO of York Water only received US$341k in total compensation for the year ending . That looks like modest pay to me, and may hint at a certain respect for the interests of shareholders. 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.
Should You Add York Water To Your Watchlist?
As I already mentioned, York Water is a growing business, which is what I like to see. Like chocolate chips in vanilla ice cream, the insider buying, and modest CEO pay, make it better. The sum of all that, for me, points to a quality business, and a genuine prospect for further research. It is worth noting though that we have found 1 warning sign for York Water that you need to take into consideration.
The good news is that York Water is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here's a list of them... with insider buying in the last three months!
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
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. 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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