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With EPS Growth And More, American Water Works Company (NYSE:AWK) Makes An Interesting Case

·4 min read

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.

In contrast to all that, many investors prefer to focus on companies like American Water Works Company (NYSE:AWK), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While this doesn't necessarily speak to whether it's undervalued, the profitability of the business is enough to warrant some appreciation - especially if its growing.

See our latest analysis for American Water Works Company

How Quickly Is American Water Works Company Increasing Earnings Per Share?

Generally, companies experiencing growth in earnings per share (EPS) should see similar trends in share price. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Shareholders will be happy to know that American Water Works Company's EPS has grown 31% each year, compound, over three years. If growth like this continues on into the future, then shareholders will have plenty to smile about.

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. It was a year of stability for American Water Works Company as both revenue and EBIT margins remained have been flat over the past year. That's not a major concern but nor does it point to the long term growth we like to see.

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.

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

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 American Water Works Company's future profits.

Are American Water Works Company Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Owing to the size of American Water Works Company, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a significant proportion of the company. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Given insiders own a significant chunk of shares, currently valued at US$50m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. This would indicate that the goals of shareholders and management are one and the same.

While it's always good to see some strong conviction in the company from insiders through heavy investment, it's also important for shareholders to ask if management compensation policies are reasonable. A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. Our analysis has discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like American Water Works Company, with market caps over US$8.0b, is about US$13m.

American Water Works Company's CEO took home a total compensation package of US$2.4m in the year prior to December 2021. That looks like a modest pay packet, and may hint at a certain respect for the interests of shareholders. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when it's reasonable, that gives a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Should You Add American Water Works Company To Your Watchlist?

For growth investors, American Water Works Company's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. If that's not enough, consider also that the CEO pay is quite reasonable, and insiders are well-invested alongside other shareholders. This may only be a fast rundown, but the key takeaway is that American Water Works Company is worth keeping an eye on. We should say that we've discovered 4 warning signs for American Water Works Company (1 is concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

The beauty of investing is that you can invest in almost 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.

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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