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With EPS Growth And More, Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL) Is Interesting

Simply Wall St

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.'

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL), 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. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

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Check out our latest analysis for Yancoal Australia

Yancoal Australia's Improving Profits

In the last three years Yancoal Australia'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. Thus, it makes sense to focus on more recent growth rates, instead. Like a falcon taking flight, Yancoal Australia's EPS soared from AU$0.50 to AU$0.68, over the last year. That's a commendable gain of 35%.

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. The good news is that Yancoal Australia is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 13.2 percentage points to 26%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

ASX:YAL Income Statement, May 17th 2019

Fortunately, we've got access to analyst forecasts of Yancoal Australia's future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.

Are Yancoal Australia Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like standing at the lookout, surveying the horizon at sunrise, insider buying, for some investors, sparks joy. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.

In the last twelve months Yancoal Australia insiders spent AU$60k on stock; good news for shareholders. This might not be a huge sum, but it's well worth noting anyway, given the complete lack of selling.

Does Yancoal Australia Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

You can't deny that Yancoal Australia has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. Not only is that growth rate rather juicy, but the insider buying makes my mouth water. So on this analysis I believe Yancoal Australia is probably worth spending some time on. Another important measure of business quality not discussed here, is return on equity (ROE). Click on this link to see how Yancoal Australia shapes up to industry peers, when it comes to ROE.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Yancoal Australia, you'll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.