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Do Amerant Bancorp's (NASDAQ:AMTB) 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. 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 Amerant Bancorp (NASDAQ:AMTB). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business than can consistently produce it. 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 Amerant Bancorp

How Quickly Is Amerant Bancorp Increasing Earnings Per Share?

The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so share price follows earnings per share (EPS) eventually. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. It certainly is nice to see that Amerant Bancorp has managed to grow EPS by 35% per year over three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away winners.

I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). I note that Amerant Bancorp's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. While Amerant Bancorp may have maintained EBIT margins over the last year, revenue has fallen. Suffice it to say that is not a great sign of growth.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

NasdaqGS:AMTB Income Statement, November 6th 2019

You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Amerant Bancorp's future profits.

Are Amerant Bancorp Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like standing at the lookout, surveying the horizon at sunrise, insider buying, for some investors, sparks joy. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.

The good news is that Amerant Bancorp insiders spent a whopping US$805k on stock in just one year, and I didn't see any selling. And so I find myself almost expectant, and certainly hopeful, that this large outlay signals prescient optimism for the business. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Vice-Chairman & CEO Millar Wilson for US$400k worth of shares, at about US$13.00 per share.

Along with the insider buying, another encouraging sign for Amerant Bancorp is that insiders, as a group, have a considerable shareholding. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$211m. That equates to 25% of the company, making insiders powerful and aligned with other shareholders. So it might be my imagination, but I do sense the glimmer of an opportunity.

Does Amerant Bancorp Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

You can't deny that Amerant Bancorp has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. 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. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Amerant Bancorp by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Amerant Bancorp, 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.