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If You Like EPS Growth Then Check Out MVB Financial (NASDAQ:MVBF) 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. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?' Leuz et. al. found that it is 'quite common' for investors to lose money by buying into 'pump and dump' schemes.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in MVB Financial (NASDAQ:MVBF). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. 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 MVB Financial

MVB Financial's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. We can see that in the last three years MVB Financial grew its EPS by 12% per year. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.

I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. I note that MVB Financial's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. MVB Financial maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 8.1% to US$91m. That's a real positive.

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.

NasdaqCM:MVBF Income Statement, June 14th 2019

Fortunately, we've got access to analyst forecasts of MVB Financial's future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.

Are MVB Financial Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. That's because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.

In the last year insider at MVB Financial were both selling and buying shares; but happily, as a group they spent US$58k more on stock, than they netted from selling it. On balance, that's a good sign. We also note that it was the Director, J. Pallotta, who made the biggest single acquisition, paying US$40k for shares at about US$15.50 each.

Along with the insider buying, another encouraging sign for MVB Financial is that insiders, as a group, have a considerable shareholding. Indeed, they hold US$21m worth of its stock. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Those holdings account for over 11% of the company; visible skin in the game.

Is MVB Financial Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One positive for MVB Financial is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. Better yet, insiders are significant shareholders, and have been buying more shares. To me, that all makes it well worth a spot on your watchlist, as well as continuing research. Of course, just because MVB Financial is growing does not mean it is undervalued. If you're wondering about the valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

As a growth investor I do like to see insider buying. But MVB Financial isn't the only one. You can see a a free list of them here.

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.