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Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone profit. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.
So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Ensign Group (NASDAQ:ENSG). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.
Ensign Group's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.
As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. It certainly is nice to see that Ensign Group has managed to grow EPS by 34% per year over three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be smiling.
One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. While we note Ensign Group's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 24% to US$2.2b. That's a real positive.
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.
You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Ensign Group's future profits.
Are Ensign Group 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. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.
It's a pleasure to note that insiders spent US$990k buying Ensign Group shares, over the last year, without reporting any share sales whatsoever. And so I find myself almost expectant, and certainly hopeful, that this large outlay signals prescient optimism for the business. We also note that it was the Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, Christopher Christensen, who made the biggest single acquisition, paying US$786k for shares at about US$32.75 each.
The good news, alongside the insider buying, for Ensign Group bulls is that insiders (collectively) have a meaningful investment in the stock. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$137m. This suggests to me that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders' interests when making decisions!
Is Ensign Group Worth Keeping An Eye On?
You can't deny that Ensign Group has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. Not only that, but we can see that insiders both own a lot of, and are buying more, shares in the company. So I do think this is one stock worth watching. Even so, be aware that Ensign Group is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...
The good news is that Ensign Group is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here's 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.
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. 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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