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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. But as Warren Buffett has mused, 'If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.' When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.
So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Auburn National Bancorporation (NASDAQ:AUBN). 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. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.
How Fast Is Auburn National Bancorporation Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
Even modest earnings per share growth (EPS) can create meaningful value, when it is sustained reliably from year to year. So EPS growth can certainly encourage an investor to take note of a stock. It's good to see that Auburn National Bancorporation's EPS have grown from US$2.24 to US$2.52 over twelve months. That's a 13% gain; respectable growth in the broader scheme of things.
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). Not all of Auburn National Bancorporation's revenue this year is revenue from operations, so keep in mind the revenue and margin numbers I've used might not be the best representation of the underlying business. It seems Auburn National Bancorporation is pretty stable, since revenue and EBIT margins are pretty flat year on year. That's not bad, but it doesn't point to ongoing future growth, either.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
Since Auburn National Bancorporation is no giant, with a market capitalization of US$117m, so you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.
Are Auburn National Bancorporation Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like the kids in the streets standing up for their beliefs, insider share purchases give me reason to believe in a brighter future. This view is based on the possibility that stock purchases signal bullishness on behalf of the buyer. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.
In the last twelve months Auburn National Bancorporation insiders spent US$48k on stock; good news for shareholders. This might not be a huge sum, but it's well worth noting anyway, given the complete lack of selling.
On top of the insider buying, it's good to see that Auburn National Bancorporation insiders have a valuable investment in the business. To be specific, they have US$40m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Those holdings account for over 34% of the company; visible skin in the game.
Should You Add Auburn National Bancorporation To Your Watchlist?
One important encouraging feature of Auburn National Bancorporation is that it is growing profits. 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 Auburn National Bancorporation. You might benefit from giving it a glance today.
The good news is that Auburn National Bancorporation is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here's a 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
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.