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With EPS Growth And More, Innospec (NASDAQ:IOSP) Is Interesting

Simply Wall St

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 Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Innospec (NASDAQ:IOSP). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.

See our latest analysis for Innospec

How Fast Is Innospec Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

Even modest earnings per share growth (EPS) can create meaningful value, when it is sustained reliably from year to year. So EPS growth can certainly encourage an investor to take note of a stock. Like a firecracker arcing through the night sky, Innospec's EPS shot from US$2.46 to US$4.15, over the last year. Year on year growth of 69% is certainly a sight to behold.

I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). Innospec maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 5.7% to US$1.5b. That's progress.

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.

NasdaqGS:IOSP Income Statement, December 23rd 2019
NasdaqGS:IOSP Income Statement, December 23rd 2019

While profitability drives the upside, prudent investors always check the balance sheet, too.

Are Innospec Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I like company leaders to have some skin in the game, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. As a result, I'm encouraged by the fact that insiders own Innospec shares worth a considerable sum. Given insiders own a small fortune of shares, currently valued at US$51m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. This should keep them focused on creating long term value for shareholders.

Is Innospec Worth Keeping An Eye On?

Innospec'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. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So yes, on this short analysis I do think it's worth considering Innospec for a spot on your watchlist. If you think Innospec might suit your style as an investor, you could go straight to its annual report, or you could first check our discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation for the company.

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

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.