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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 currently lacks a track record of revenue and profit. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.' 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 CorVel (NASDAQ:CRVL). Even if this company is fairly valued by the market, investors would agree that generating consistent profits will continue to provide CorVel with the means to add long-term value to shareholders.
CorVel's Earnings Per Share Are Growing
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price should eventually follow. That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Over the last three years, CorVel has grown EPS by 15% per year. That's a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.
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. CorVel shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 11% to 13%, and revenue is growing. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in our book.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
While it's always good to see growing profits, you should always remember that a weak balance sheet could come back to bite. So check CorVel's balance sheet strength, before getting too excited.
Are CorVel Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
It's a necessity that company leaders act in the best interest of shareholders and so insider investment always comes as a reassurance to the market. Shareholders will be pleased by the fact that insiders own CorVel shares worth a considerable sum. Notably, they have an enviable stake in the company, worth US$271m. This suggests that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders' interests when making decisions!
While it's always good to see some strong conviction in the company from insiders through heavy investment, it's also important for shareholders to ask if management compensation policies are reasonable. A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. For companies with market capitalisations between US$2.0b and US$6.4b, like CorVel, the median CEO pay is around US$6.9m.
CorVel's CEO took home a total compensation package of US$1.4m in the year prior to March 2022. First impressions seem to indicate a compensation policy that is favourable to shareholders. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when it's reasonable, that gives a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. Generally, arguments can be made that reasonable pay levels attest to good decision-making.
Should You Add CorVel To Your Watchlist?
One positive for CorVel is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. The fact that EPS is growing is a genuine positive for CorVel, but the pleasant picture gets better than that. With company insiders aligning themselves considerably with the company's success and modest CEO compensation, there's no arguments that this is a stock worth looking into. You should always think about risks though. Case in point, we've spotted 2 warning signs for CorVel you should be aware of, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.
The beauty of investing is that you can invest in almost any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.
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