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 as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in A-Living Services (HKG:3319). 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.
How Fast Is A-Living Services Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
In the last three years A-Living Services'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. As a result, I'll zoom in on growth over the last year, instead. Like a falcon taking flight, A-Living Services's EPS soared from CN¥0.46 to CN¥0.76, over the last year. That's a commendable gain of 64%.
One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. The good news is that A-Living Services is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 4.7 percentage points to 30%, 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. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of A-Living Services's forecast profits?
Are A-Living Services Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
I like company leaders to have some skin in the game, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. So it is good to see that A-Living Services insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. To be specific, they have CN¥319m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Even though that's only about 1.5% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.
Does A-Living Services Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
You can't deny that A-Living Services has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. I think that EPS growth is something to boast of, and it doesn't surprise me that insiders are holding on to a considerable chunk of shares. Fast growth and confident insiders should be enough to warrant further research. So the answer is that I do think this is a good stock to follow along with. While we've looked at the quality of the earnings, we haven't yet done any work to value the stock. So if you like to buy cheap, you may want to check if A-Living Services is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
You can invest in any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies 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
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