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Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone profit. 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 SciPlay (NASDAQ:SCPL). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. 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.
SciPlay's Improving Profits
Even modest earnings per share growth (EPS) can create meaningful value, when it is sustained reliably from year to year. So it's no surprise that some investors are more inclined to invest in profitable businesses. SciPlay boosted its trailing twelve month EPS from US$1.47 to US$1.67, in the last year. That's a 13% gain; respectable growth in the broader scheme of things.
Careful consideration of revenue growth and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margins can help inform a view on the sustainability of the recent profit growth. SciPlay shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 19% to 28%, and revenue is growing. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
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 SciPlay?
Are SciPlay Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like the kids in the streets standing up for their beliefs, insider share purchases give me reason to believe in a brighter future. That's because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.
We note that SciPlay insiders spent US$135k on stock, over the last year; in contrast, we didn't see any selling. That's nice to see, because it suggests insiders are optimistic. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by M. Pinson for US$45k worth of shares, at about US$9.02 per share.
Does SciPlay Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
As I already mentioned, SciPlay is a growing business, which is what I like to see. While some companies are struggling to grow EPS, SciPlay seems free from that morose affliction. The gravy on the mushroom pie is the insider buying, which has me tasting potential opportunity; one for the watchlist, I'd posit. 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 SciPlay is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
The good news is that SciPlay is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here's a list of them... 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.
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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