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With EPS Growth And More, Kearny Financial (NASDAQ:KRNY) Is Interesting

Simply Wall St

It's only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in 'sexy' stocks with a good story, even if those businesses lose money. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?' Leuz et. al. found that it is 'quite common' for investors to lose money by buying into 'pump and dump' schemes.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Kearny Financial (NASDAQ:KRNY). Now, I'm not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can't shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

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Check out our latest analysis for Kearny Financial

How Fast Is Kearny Financial Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

In the last three years Kearny Financial's earnings per share took off like a rocket; fast, and from a low base. So the actual rate of growth doesn't tell us much. 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, Kearny Financial's EPS shot from US$0.21 to US$0.44, over the last year. You don't see 112% year-on-year growth like that, very often.

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. I note that Kearny Financial's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. Kearny Financial maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 44% to US$169m. 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.

NasdaqGS:KRNY Income Statement, May 21st 2019

While we live in the present moment at all times, there's no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Kearny Financial?

Are Kearny Financial 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 Kearny Financial shares worth a considerable sum. With a whopping US$52m worth of shares as a group, insiders have plenty riding on the company's success. That's certainly enough to make me think that management will be very focussed on long term growth.

It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. For companies with market capitalizations between US$400m and US$1.6b, like Kearny Financial, the median CEO pay is around US$2.7m.

The CEO of Kearny Financial only received US$750k in total compensation for the year ending June 2018. That looks like modest pay to me, and may hint at a certain respect for the interests of shareholders. While the level of CEO compensation isn't a huge factor in my view of the company, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Should You Add Kearny Financial To Your Watchlist?

Kearny Financial's earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. The cherry on top is that insiders own a bucket-load of shares, and the CEO pay seems really quite reasonable. The sharp increase in earnings could signal good business momentum. Big growth can make big winners, so I do think Kearny Financial is worth considering carefully. While we've looked at the quality of the earnings, we haven't yet done any work to value the stock. So if you like to buy cheap, you may want to check if Kearny Financial is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

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

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.

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. Thank you for reading.