Investors are often guided by the idea of discovering 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without any revenue, let alone profit. But the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses. A loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the inflow of external capital may dry up.
If this kind of company isn't your style, you like companies that generate revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Wingstop (NASDAQ:WING). Now this is not to say that the company presents the best investment opportunity around, but profitability is a key component to success in business.
How Quickly Is Wingstop Increasing Earnings Per Share?
If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS) outcomes. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Shareholders will be happy to know that Wingstop's EPS has grown 25% each year, compound, over three years. This has no doubt fuelled the optimism that sees the stock trading on a high multiple of earnings.
Top-line growth is a great indicator that growth is sustainable, and combined with a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin, it's a great way for a company to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. Wingstop maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 9.5% to US$298m. That's encouraging news for the company!
You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. For finer detail, click on the image.
Fortunately, we've got access to analyst forecasts of Wingstop's future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.
Are Wingstop Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
It should give investors a sense of security owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, creating a close alignment their interests. Wingstop followers will find comfort in knowing that insiders have a significant amount of capital that aligns their best interests with the wider shareholder group. Indeed, they hold US$23m worth of its stock. This considerable investment should help drive long-term value in the business. Despite being just 0.6% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.
It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? Our quick analysis into CEO remuneration would seem to indicate they are. Our analysis has discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Wingstop with market caps between US$2.0b and US$6.4b is about US$6.8m.
Wingstop's CEO took home a total compensation package of US$2.6m in the year prior to December 2021. First impressions seem to indicate a compensation policy that is favourable to shareholders. While the level of CEO compensation shouldn't be the biggest factor in how the company is viewed, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.
Is Wingstop Worth Keeping An Eye On?
For growth investors, Wingstop's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. If you still have your doubts, remember too that company insiders have a considerable investment aligning themselves with the shareholders and CEO pay is quite modest compared to similarly sized companiess. This may only be a fast rundown, but the key takeaway is that Wingstop is worth keeping an eye on. It is worth noting though that we have found 3 warning signs for Wingstop that you need to take into consideration.
There's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you to check out companies that do have those features. You can access a free list of them here.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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