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If You Like EPS Growth Then Check Out LPL Financial Holdings (NASDAQ:LPLA) Before It's Too Late

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

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in LPL Financial Holdings (NASDAQ:LPLA). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

Check out our latest analysis for LPL Financial Holdings

How Quickly Is LPL Financial Holdings Increasing Earnings Per Share?

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Who among us would not applaud LPL Financial Holdings's stratospheric annual EPS growth of 47%, compound, over the last three years? While that sort of growth rate isn't sustainable for long, it certainly catches my attention; like a glint in the eye of my lover.

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. LPL Financial Holdings shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 12% to 15%, and revenue is growing. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

NasdaqGS:LPLA Income Statement, July 4th 2019

The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. To that end, right now and today, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for future LPL Financial Holdings EPS 100% free.

Are LPL Financial Holdings Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$6.9b company like LPL Financial Holdings. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Given insiders own a small fortune of shares, currently valued at US$57m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. This should keep them focused on creating long term value for shareholders.

Is LPL Financial Holdings Worth Keeping An Eye On?

LPL Financial Holdings's earnings per share growth has been so hot recently that thinking about it is making me blush. That EPS growth certainly has my attention, and the large insider ownership only serves to further stoke my interest. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So to my mind LPL Financial Holdings is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. Now, you could try to make up your mind on LPL Financial Holdings by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in 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

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.