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. Sometimes these stories can cloud the minds of investors, leading them to invest with their emotions rather than on the merit of good company fundamentals. 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 O'Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY). Even if this company is fairly valued by the market, investors would agree that generating consistent profits will continue to provide O'Reilly Automotive with the means to add long-term value to shareholders.
How Fast Is O'Reilly Automotive Growing?
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price should eventually follow. So it makes sense that experienced investors pay close attention to company EPS when undertaking investment research. Impressively, O'Reilly Automotive has grown EPS by 25% per year, compound, in the last three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be beaming.
Top-line growth is a great indicator that growth is sustainable, and combined with a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin, it's a great way for a company to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. O'Reilly Automotive maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 11% to US$14b. That's encouraging news for the company!
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.
In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of O'Reilly Automotive's forecast profits?
Are O'Reilly Automotive Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$45b company like O'Reilly Automotive. 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$516m. Investors will appreciate management having this amount of skin in the game as it shows their commitment to the company's future.
Should You Add O'Reilly Automotive To Your Watchlist?
You can't deny that O'Reilly Automotive has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. 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. The growth and insider confidence is looked upon well and so it's worthwhile to investigate further with a view to discern the stock's true value. Before you take the next step you should know about the 2 warning signs for O'Reilly Automotive (1 is concerning!) that we have uncovered.
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.
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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