It's common for many investors, especially those who are inexperienced, to buy shares in companies with a good story even if these companies are loss-making. 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. Loss making companies can act like a sponge for capital - so investors should be cautious that they're not throwing good money after bad.
Despite being in the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, many investors still adopt a more traditional strategy; buying shares in profitable companies like CGI (TSE:GIB.A). Now this is not to say that the company presents the best investment opportunity around, but profitability is a key component to success in business.
How Quickly Is CGI Increasing Earnings Per Share?
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) outcomes. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. It certainly is nice to see that CGI has managed to grow EPS by 18% per year over three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away satisfied.
Top-line growth is a great indicator that growth is sustainable, and combined with a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin, it's a great way for a company to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. While we note CGI achieved similar EBIT margins to last year, revenue grew by a solid 11% to CA$14b. That's encouraging news for the company!
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
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 CGI.
Are CGI Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Owing to the size of CGI, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a significant proportion of the company. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. We note that their impressive stake in the company is worth CA$3.9b. This totals to 12% of shares in the company. Enough to lead management's decision making process down a path that brings the most benefit to shareholders. Looking very optimistic for investors.
Is CGI Worth Keeping An Eye On?
For growth investors, CGI's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. This EPS growth rate is something the company should be proud of, and so it's no surprise that insiders are holding on to a considerable chunk of shares. On the balance of its merits, solid EPS growth and company insiders who are aligned with the shareholders would indicate a business that is worthy of further research. Now, you could try to make up your mind on CGI 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's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you 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.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.