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Do Adobe's (NASDAQ:ADBE) Earnings Warrant Your Attention?

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. 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.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE). 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. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Adobe

How Fast Is Adobe Growing?

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 means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. I, for one, am blown away by the fact that Adobe has grown EPS by 38% per year, over the last three years. That sort of growth never lasts long, but like a shooting star it is well worth watching when it happens.

I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. On the one hand, Adobe's EBIT margins fell over the last year, but on the other hand, revenue grew. So it seems the future my hold further growth, especially if EBIT margins can stabilize.

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.

NasdaqGS:ADBE Income Statement, December 30th 2019

Fortunately, we've got access to analyst forecasts of Adobe's future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.

Are Adobe Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$160b company like Adobe. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$474m. This suggests to me that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders' interests when making decisions!

Does Adobe Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

Adobe's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. That EPS growth certainly has my attention, and the large insider ownership only serves to further stoke my interest. At times fast EPS growth is a sign the business has reached an inflection point; and I do like those. So to my mind Adobe is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. If you think Adobe might suit your style as an investor, you could go straight to its annual report, or you could first check our discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation for the company.

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

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.

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. Thank you for reading.