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Here's Why We Think Anglo Asian Mining (LON:AAZ) Is Well Worth Watching

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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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 as Warren Buffett has mused, 'If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.' When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Anglo Asian Mining (LON:AAZ). 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.

See our latest analysis for Anglo Asian Mining

How Fast Is Anglo Asian Mining Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

In the last three years Anglo Asian Mining's earnings per share took off like a rocket; fast, and from a low base. So the actual rate of growth doesn't tell us much. As a result, I'll zoom in on growth over the last year, instead. It's good to see that Anglo Asian Mining's EPS have grown from US$0.14 to US$0.17 over twelve months. I doubt many would complain about that 18% gain.

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. This approach makes Anglo Asian Mining look pretty good, on balance; although revenue is flattish, EBIT margins improved from 30% to 34% in the last year. That's a real positive.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

AIM:AAZ Income Statement May 15th 2020
AIM:AAZ Income Statement May 15th 2020

Since Anglo Asian Mining is no giant, with a market capitalization of UK£145m, so you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.

Are Anglo Asian Mining Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Personally, I like to see high insider ownership of a company, since it suggests that it will be managed in the interests of shareholders. So as you can imagine, the fact that Anglo Asian Mining insiders own a significant number of shares certainly appeals to me. Actually, with 40% of the company to their names, insiders are profoundly invested in the business. I'm reassured by this kind of alignment, as it suggests the business will be run for the benefit of shareholders. With that sort of holding, insiders have about US$58m riding on the stock, at current prices. That should be more than enough to keep them focussed on creating shareholder value!

It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. For companies with market capitalizations between US$100m and US$400m, like Anglo Asian Mining, the median CEO pay is around US$751k.

The Anglo Asian Mining CEO received US$663k in compensation for the year ending . That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. 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. I'd also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.

Should You Add Anglo Asian Mining To Your Watchlist?

One important encouraging feature of Anglo Asian Mining is that it is growing profits. Earnings growth might be the main game for Anglo Asian Mining, but the fun does not stop there. Boasting both modest CEO pay and considerable insider ownership, I'd argue this one is worthy of the watchlist, at least. What about risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Anglo Asian Mining you should know about.

Although Anglo Asian Mining certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, 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.

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.