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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 the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses.
In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Evercore (NYSE:EVR). Now, I'm not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can't shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.
How Fast Is Evercore Growing?
The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so share price follows earnings per share (EPS) eventually. That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Who among us would not applaud Evercore's stratospheric annual EPS growth of 40%, compound, over the last three years? While that sort of growth rate isn't sustainable for long, it certainly catches my attention; like a crow with a sparkly stone.
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). Evercore maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 14% to US$2.3b. That's progress.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
Fortunately, we've got access to analyst forecasts of Evercore's future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.
Are Evercore 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. 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.
While we did see insider selling of Evercore stock in the last year, one single insider spent plenty more buying. Specifically the Executive VP, Robert Walsh, spent US$764k, paying about US$58.79 per share. To me, that's probably a sign of conviction.
On top of the insider buying, it's good to see that Evercore insiders have a valuable investment in the business. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$144m. This suggests to me that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders' interests when making decisions!
Is Evercore Worth Keeping An Eye On?
Evercore's earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. The incing on the cake is that insiders own a large chunk of the company and one has even been buying more shares. This quick rundown suggests that the business may be of good quality, and also at an inflection point, so maybe Evercore deserves timely attention. Even so, be aware that Evercore is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...
The good news is that Evercore 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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