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If You Like EPS Growth Then Check Out Jacobs Engineering Group (NYSE:JEC) Before It's Too Late

Simply Wall St

For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Jacobs Engineering Group (NYSE:JEC). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business than can consistently produce it. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

View our latest analysis for Jacobs Engineering Group

Jacobs Engineering Group's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

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). That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Over the last three years, Jacobs Engineering Group has grown EPS by 14% per year. That's a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.

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). Jacobs Engineering Group maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 64% to US$17b. 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.

NYSE:JEC Income Statement, November 8th 2019

While we live in the present moment at all times, there's no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Jacobs Engineering Group?

Are Jacobs Engineering Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$13b company like Jacobs Engineering Group. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Given insiders own a small fortune of shares, currently valued at US$59m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. This should keep them focused on creating long term value for shareholders.

Is Jacobs Engineering Group Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One important encouraging feature of Jacobs Engineering Group is that it is growing profits. If that's not enough on its own, there is also the rather notable levels of insider ownership. The combination sparks joy for me, so I'd consider keeping the company on a watchlist. If you think Jacobs Engineering Group might suit your style as an investor, you could go straight to its annual report, or you could first check our discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation for the company.

Although Jacobs Engineering Group 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.