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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 Warren Buffett has mused, 'If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.' When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Rocky Brands (NASDAQ:RCKY), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. 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.
How Fast Is Rocky Brands Growing?
As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. It certainly is nice to see that Rocky Brands has managed to grow EPS by 30% per year over three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away winners.
One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. The good news is that Rocky Brands is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 2.3 percentage points to 10%, over the last year. That's great to see, on both counts.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
While it's always good to see growing profits, you should always remember that a weak balance sheet could come back to bite. So check Rocky Brands's balance sheet strength, before getting too excited.
Are Rocky Brands 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. So it is good to see that Rocky Brands insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. To be specific, they have US$29m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Those holdings account for over 7.5% of the company; visible skin in the game.
It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Rocky Brands with market caps between US$200m and US$800m is about US$1.5m.
The Rocky Brands CEO received total compensation of just US$543k in the year to . That's clearly well below average, so at a glance, that arrangement seems generous to shareholders, and points to a modest remuneration culture. 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 Rocky Brands To Your Watchlist?
Given my belief that share price follows earnings per share you can easily imagine how I feel about Rocky Brands's strong EPS growth. 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 Rocky Brands is worth keeping an eye on. Still, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Rocky Brands .
Although Rocky Brands certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
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. 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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