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Does IDACORP (NYSE:IDA) Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

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·4 min read
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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 IDACORP (NYSE:IDA). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.

Check out our latest analysis for IDACORP

How Quickly Is IDACORP Increasing Earnings Per Share?

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. We can see that in the last three years IDACORP grew its EPS by 6.0% per year. That might not be particularly high growth, but it does show that per-share earnings are moving steadily in the right direction.

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. IDACORP's EBIT margins have actually improved by 2.2 percentage points in the last year, to reach 22%, but, on the flip side, revenue was down 2.7%. That falls short of ideal.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

earnings-and-revenue-history
earnings-and-revenue-history

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 IDACORP?

Are IDACORP Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. As a result, I'm encouraged by the fact that insiders own IDACORP shares worth a considerable sum. To be specific, they have US$22m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 0.5% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like IDACORP with market caps between US$2.0b and US$6.4b is about US$5.0m.

The IDACORP CEO received US$3.7m in compensation for the year ending . That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. While the level of CEO compensation isn't a huge factor in my view of the company, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Is IDACORP Worth Keeping An Eye On?

As I already mentioned, IDACORP is a growing business, which is what I like to see. The fact that EPS is growing is a genuine positive for IDACORP, but the pretty picture gets better than that. With a meaningful level of insider ownership, and reasonable CEO pay, a reasonable mind might conclude that this is one stock worth watching. We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 1 warning sign for IDACORP that you need to be mindful of.

Of course, you can do well (sometimes) buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But as a growth investor I always like 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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.