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Here's Why NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) Has Caught The Eye Of Investors

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Investors are often guided by the idea of discovering 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without any revenue, let alone profit. 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. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, so investors in these companies may be taking on more risk than they should.

If this kind of company isn't your style, you like companies that generate revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG). Even if this company is fairly valued by the market, investors would agree that generating consistent profits will continue to provide NRG Energy with the means to add long-term value to shareholders.

View our latest analysis for NRG Energy

How Fast Is NRG Energy Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

Strong earnings per share (EPS) results are an indicator of a company achieving solid profits, which investors look upon favourably and so the share price tends to reflect great EPS performance. So a growing EPS generally brings attention to a company in the eyes of prospective investors. Commendations have to be given in seeing that NRG Energy grew its EPS from US$1.26 to US$16.88, in one short year. While it's difficult to sustain growth at that level, it bodes well for the company's outlook for the future. But the key is discerning whether something profound has changed, or if this is a just a one-off boost.

Careful consideration of revenue growth and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margins can help inform a view on the sustainability of the recent profit growth. NRG Energy shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 6.1% to 23%, and revenue is growing. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in our book.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

earnings-and-revenue-history
earnings-and-revenue-history

The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. While crystal balls don't exist, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for NRG Energy's future EPS 100% free.

Are NRG Energy Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since NRG Energy has a market capitalisation of US$8.6b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Given insiders own a significant chunk of shares, currently valued at US$64m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. That's certainly enough to let shareholders know that management will be very focussed on long term growth.

Should You Add NRG Energy To Your Watchlist?

NRG Energy's earnings have taken off in quite an impressive fashion. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders should certainly brighten the view of the company. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So based on this quick analysis, we do think it's worth considering NRG Energy for a spot on your watchlist. What about risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for NRG Energy (of which 1 is potentially serious!) you should know about.

Although NRG Energy certainly looks good, it may appeal to more investors if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, 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.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.