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Does Bank of Montreal (TSE:BMO) Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

Simply Wall St

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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 the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses.

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Bank of Montreal (TSE:BMO), which has not only revenues, but also profits. 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. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

View our latest analysis for Bank of Montreal

Bank of Montreal's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

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. It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. Bank of Montreal managed to grow EPS by 12% per year, over three years. That's a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.

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. Not all of Bank of Montreal'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. Bank of Montreal maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 10% to CA$24b. That's progress.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

TSX:BMO Income Statement, July 18th 2019

While we live in the present moment at all times, there's no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Bank of Montreal?

Are Bank of Montreal 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. That's because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. Of course, we can never be sure what insiders are thinking, we can only judge their actions.

Despite -CA$2.6m worth of sales, Bank of Montreal insiders have overwhelmingly been buying the stock, spending CA$3.1m on purchases in the last twelve months. You could argue that level of buying implies genuine confidence in the business. It is also worth noting that it was Director George Cope who made the biggest single purchase, worth CA$1.5m, paying CA$93.60 per share.

On top of the insider buying, it's good to see that Bank of Montreal insiders have a valuable investment in the business. To be specific, they have CA$37m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 0.06% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

Does Bank of Montreal Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

One important encouraging feature of Bank of Montreal is that it is growing profits. Better yet, insiders are significant shareholders, and have been buying more shares. That makes the company a prime candidate for my watchlist - and arguably a research priority. 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 Bank of Montreal. You might benefit from giving it a glance today.

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