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If You Like EPS Growth Then Check Out Adtalem Global Education (NYSE:ATGE) Before It's Too Late

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 the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Adtalem Global Education (NYSE:ATGE). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

See our latest analysis for Adtalem Global Education

How Fast Is Adtalem Global Education Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

Over the last three years, Adtalem Global Education has grown earnings per share (EPS) like young bamboo after rain; fast, and from a low base. So I don't think the percent growth rate is particularly meaningful. Thus, it makes sense to focus on more recent growth rates, instead. Like the last firework on New Year's Eve accelerating into the sky, Adtalem Global Education's EPS shot from US$1.38 to US$2.75, over the last year. Year on year growth of 100% is certainly a sight to behold.

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). While Adtalem Global Education did well to grow revenue over the last year, EBIT margins were dampened at the same time. So it seems the future my hold further growth, especially if EBIT margins can stabilize.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

NYSE:ATGE Income Statement, December 17th 2019
NYSE:ATGE Income Statement, December 17th 2019

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 Adtalem Global Education's future profits.

Are Adtalem Global Education Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. 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.

While Adtalem Global Education insiders did net -US$402.8k selling stock over the last year, they invested US$1.1m, a much higher figure. On balance, to me, this signals their optimism. It is also worth noting that it was Senior VP Michael Randolfi who made the biggest single purchase, worth US$1.1m, paying US$33.73 per share.

The good news, alongside the insider buying, for Adtalem Global Education bulls is that insiders (collectively) have a meaningful investment in the stock. Indeed, they hold US$29m worth of its stock. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Despite being just 1.6% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

While insiders are apparently happy to hold and accumulate shares, that is just part of the pretty picture. That's because on our analysis the CEO, Lisa Wardell, is paid less than the median for similar sized companies. For companies with market capitalizations between US$1.0b and US$3.2b, like Adtalem Global Education, the median CEO pay is around US$3.9m.

The Adtalem Global Education CEO received US$2.4m in compensation for the year ending June 2019. That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. 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.

Does Adtalem Global Education Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

Adtalem Global Education's earnings per share growth have been levitating higher, like a mountain goat scaling the Alps. What's more insiders own a significant stake in the company and have been buying more shares. This quick rundown suggests that the business may be of good quality, and also at an inflection point, so maybe Adtalem Global Education deserves timely attention. Of course, just because Adtalem Global Education is growing does not mean it is undervalued. If you're wondering about the valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Adtalem Global Education, 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

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.

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. Thank you for reading.