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. 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.
In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like WuXi Biologics (Cayman) (HKG:2269). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. 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.
How Fast Is WuXi Biologics (Cayman) Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
Over the last three years, WuXi Biologics (Cayman) has grown earnings per share (EPS) like young bamboo after rain; fast, and from a low base. So I don't think the percent growth rate is particularly meaningful. As a result, I'll zoom in on growth over the last year, instead. Like the last firework on New Year's Eve accelerating into the sky, WuXi Biologics (Cayman)'s EPS shot from CN¥0.35 to CN¥0.68, over the last year. Year on year growth of 95% is certainly a sight to behold. The best case scenario? That the business has hit a true inflection point.
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. On the one hand, WuXi Biologics (Cayman)'s EBIT margins fell over the last year, but on the other hand, revenue grew. So if EBIT margins can stabilize, this top-line growth should pay off for shareholders.
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.
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 WuXi Biologics (Cayman).
Are WuXi Biologics (Cayman) Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a HK$109b company like WuXi Biologics (Cayman). But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. To be specific, they have CN¥255m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Despite being just 0.2% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.
Should You Add WuXi Biologics (Cayman) To Your Watchlist?
WuXi Biologics (Cayman)'s earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders certainly brightens my view of the company. At times fast EPS growth is a sign the business has reached an inflection point; and I do like those. So to my mind WuXi Biologics (Cayman) is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. 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 WuXi Biologics (Cayman). You might benefit from giving it a glance today.
You can invest in 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
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