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If You Like EPS Growth Then Check Out Hypoport (FRA:HYQ) Before It's Too Late

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Simply Wall St
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It's only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in 'sexy' stocks with a good story, even if those businesses lose money. But as Warren Buffett has mused, 'If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.' When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Hypoport (FRA:HYQ). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.

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See our latest analysis for Hypoport

How Quickly Is Hypoport Increasing Earnings Per Share?

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. We can see that in the last three years Hypoport grew its EPS by 9.2% per year. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.

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. While we note Hypoport's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 37% to €284m. That's progress.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

DB:HYQ Income Statement, May 22nd 2019
DB:HYQ Income Statement, May 22nd 2019

In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Hypoport's forecast profits?

Are Hypoport Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Personally, I like to see high insider ownership of a company, since it suggests that it will be managed in the interests of shareholders. So we're pleased to report that Hypoport insiders own a meaningful share of the business. Actually, with 44% of the company to their names, insiders are profoundly invested in the business. I'm reassured by this kind of alignment, as it suggests the business will be run for the benefit of shareholders. At the current share price, that insider holding is worth a whopping €544m. Now that's what I call some serious skin in the game!

It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. For companies with market capitalizations between €896m and €2.9b, like Hypoport, the median CEO pay is around €1.5m.

The Hypoport CEO received total compensation of just €544k in the year to December 2017. That's clearly well below average, so at a glance, that arrangement seems generous to shareholders, and points to a modest remuneration culture. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Is Hypoport Worth Keeping An Eye On?

As I already mentioned, Hypoport is a growing business, which is what I like to see. Earnings growth might be the main game for Hypoport, but the fun does not stop there. Boasting both modest CEO pay and considerable insider ownership, I'd argue this one is worthy of the watchlist, at least. Of course, profit growth is one thing but it's even better if Hypoport is receiving high returns on equity, since that should imply it can keep growing without much need for capital. Click on this link to see how it is faring against the average in its industry.

Although Hypoport certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.

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.