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If You Like EPS Growth Then Check Out Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) Before It's Too Late

Simply Wall St

Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone profit. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. 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 Super Retail Group

How Quickly Is Super Retail Group 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. Impressively, Super Retail Group has grown EPS by 30% per year, compound, in the last three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away winners.

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. Super Retail Group maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 5.5% to AU$2.7b. That's a real positive.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

ASX:SUL Income Statement, November 1st 2019

Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Super Retail Group.

Are Super Retail Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like standing at the lookout, surveying the horizon at sunrise, insider buying, for some investors, sparks joy. That's because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.

Not only did Super Retail Group insiders refrain from selling stock during the year, but they also spent AU$277k buying it. That's nice to see, because it suggests insiders are optimistic. It is also worth noting that it was Group MD Anthony Heraghty who made the biggest single purchase, worth AU$201k, paying AU$7.85 per share.

The good news, alongside the insider buying, for Super Retail Group bulls is that insiders (collectively) have a meaningful investment in the stock. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth AU$585m. That equates to 31% of the company, making insiders powerful and aligned with other shareholders. So it might be my imagination, but I do sense the glimmer of an opportunity.

While insiders already own a significant amount of shares, and they have been buying more, the good news for ordinary shareholders does not stop there. That's because on our analysis the CEO, Anthony Heraghty, is paid less than the median for similar sized companies. For companies with market capitalizations between AU$1.5b and AU$4.7b, like Super Retail Group, the median CEO pay is around AU$2.1m.

Super Retail Group offered total compensation worth AU$1.2m to its CEO in the year to June 2018. That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. 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. I'd also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.

Does Super Retail Group Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

You can't deny that Super Retail Group has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. Not only that, but we can see that insiders both own a lot of, and are buying more, shares in the company. So I do think this is one stock worth watching. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Super Retail Group by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.

The good news is that Super Retail Group is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here's a list of them... 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.