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Here's Why We Think Alantra Partners (BME:ALNT) Is Well Worth Watching

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. 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.

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Alantra Partners (BME:ALNT). Now, I'm not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can't shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.

See our latest analysis for Alantra Partners

Alantra Partners's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. We can see that in the last three years Alantra Partners 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. Alantra Partners maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 6.6% to €214m. That's progress.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

BME:ALNT Income Statement March 26th 2020

While profitability drives the upside, prudent investors always check the balance sheet, too.

Are Alantra Partners 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. Of course, we can never be sure what insiders are thinking, we can only judge their actions.

Insider selling of Alantra Partners shares was insignificant compared to the one buyer, over the last twelve months. To wit, Director Jose Antonio Abad Zorrilla outlaid €937k for shares, at about €15.10 per share. To me, that's probably a sign of conviction.

Along with the insider buying, another encouraging sign for Alantra Partners is that insiders, as a group, have a considerable shareholding. To be specific, they have €18m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 3.5% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

While insiders are apparently happy to hold and accumulate shares, that is just part of the pretty picture. That's because on our analysis the CEO, Santiago Eguidazu Mayor, is paid less than the median for similar sized companies. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Alantra Partners with market caps between €185m and €741m is about €345k.

The Alantra Partners CEO received total compensation of just €66k in the year to . That's clearly well below average, so at a glance, that arrangement seems generous to shareholders, and points to a modest remuneration culture. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Is Alantra Partners Worth Keeping An Eye On?

As I already mentioned, Alantra Partners is a growing business, which is what I like to see. Better yet, insiders are significant shareholders, and have been buying more shares. That makes the company a prime candidate for my watchlist - and arguably a research priority. Don't forget that there may still be risks. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Alantra Partners that you should be aware of.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Alantra Partners, you'll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.