The excitement of investing in a company that can reverse its fortunes is a big draw for some speculators, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can manage to find investors. Unfortunately, these high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else investors will move on and the company will wither away.
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 Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). 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 Apple 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 means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Impressively, Apple has grown EPS by 28% per year, compound, in the last three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away satisfied.
It's often helpful to take a look at earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. Apple maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 12% to US$388b. That's a real positive.
You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. 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 Apple's future profits.
Are Apple Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$2.2t company like Apple. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Indeed, they have a considerable amount of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$1.4b. While that is a lot of skin in the game, we note this holding only totals to 0.06% of the business, which is a result of the company being so large. This still shows shareholders there is a degree of alignment between management and themselves.
Is Apple Worth Keeping An Eye On?
For growth investors, Apple'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. Fast growth and confident insiders should be enough to warrant further research, so it would seem that it's a good stock to follow. We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 1 warning sign for Apple that you need to be mindful of.
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.
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