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With EPS Growth And More, Meta Financial Group (NASDAQ:CASH) 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.'

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Meta Financial Group (NASDAQ:CASH), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.

Check out our latest analysis for Meta Financial Group

How Fast Is Meta Financial Group Growing?

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, Meta Financial Group's EPS has grown 24% each year, compound, over three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be smiling.

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). I note that Meta Financial Group's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. Meta Financial Group maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 51% to US$431m. That's a real positive.

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.

NasdaqGS:CASH Income Statement, January 4th 2020

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 Meta Financial Group's future profits.

Are Meta Financial Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. So it is good to see that Meta Financial Group insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$103m. I would find that kind of skin in the game quite encouraging, if I owned shares, since it would ensure that the leaders of the company would also experience my success, or failure, with the stock.

It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. For companies with market capitalizations between US$1.0b and US$3.2b, like Meta Financial Group, the median CEO pay is around US$3.9m.

Meta Financial Group offered total compensation worth US$3.3m to its CEO in the year to September 2018. That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Should You Add Meta Financial Group To Your Watchlist?

You can't deny that Meta Financial Group has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. 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 takeaway for me is that Meta Financial Group is worth keeping an eye on. Once you've identified a business you like, the next step is to consider what you think it's worth. And right now is your chance to view our exclusive discounted cashflow valuation of Meta Financial Group. You might benefit from giving it a glance today.

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.

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