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Do Community Healthcare Trust's (NYSE:CHCT) Earnings Warrant Your Attention?

Simply Wall St
·4 min read

For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?' Leuz et. al. found that it is 'quite common' for investors to lose money by buying into 'pump and dump' schemes.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Community Healthcare Trust (NYSE:CHCT). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. 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.

View our latest analysis for Community Healthcare Trust

Community Healthcare Trust's Earnings Per Share Are 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 makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Over the last three years, Community Healthcare Trust has grown EPS by 15% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.

Careful consideration of revenue growth and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margins can help inform a view on the sustainability of the recent profit growth. I note that Community Healthcare Trust's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. Community Healthcare Trust shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 28% to 31%, and revenue is growing. That's great to see, on both counts.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

NYSE:CHCT Income Statement April 17th 2020
NYSE:CHCT Income Statement April 17th 2020

Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Community Healthcare Trust.

Are Community Healthcare Trust Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I like company leaders to have some skin in the game, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. So it is good to see that Community Healthcare Trust insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. To be specific, they have US$42m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. That amounts to 6.1% of the company, demonstrating a degree of high-level alignment with shareholders.

It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. For companies with market capitalizations between US$400m and US$1.6b, like Community Healthcare Trust, the median CEO pay is around US$3.3m.

The Community Healthcare Trust CEO received US$2.6m in compensation for the year ending . That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Is Community Healthcare Trust Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One positive for Community Healthcare Trust is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. Earnings growth might be the main game for Community Healthcare Trust, but the fun does not stop there. With a meaningful level of insider ownership, and reasonable CEO pay, a reasonable mind might conclude that this is one stock worth watching. You should always think about risks though. Case in point, we've spotted 4 warning signs for Community Healthcare Trust you should be aware of, and 1 of them is a bit unpleasant.

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.