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Here's Why We Think BWX Technologies (NYSE:BWXT) Is Well Worth Watching

Simply Wall St

Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like BWX Technologies (NYSE:BWXT), which has not only revenues, but also profits. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for BWX Technologies

How Quickly Is BWX Technologies Increasing Earnings Per Share?

The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so share price follows earnings per share (EPS) eventually. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. BWX Technologies managed to grow EPS by 13% per year, over three years. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.

One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. On the one hand, BWX Technologies's EBIT margins fell over the last year, but on the other hand, revenue grew. So if EBIT margins can stabilize, this top-line growth should pay off for shareholders.

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.

NYSE:BWXT Income Statement, July 30th 2019

The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. To that end, right now and today, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for future BWX Technologies EPS 100% free.

Are BWX Technologies Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$5.1b company like BWX Technologies. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. To be specific, they have US$19m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 0.4% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

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. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like BWX Technologies with market caps between US$4.0b and US$12b is about US$6.9m.

BWX Technologies offered total compensation worth US$4.7m to its CEO in the year to December 2018. 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.

Does BWX Technologies Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

One important encouraging feature of BWX Technologies is that it is growing profits. The fact that EPS is growing is a genuine positive for BWX Technologies, but the pretty picture gets better than that. With a meaningful level of insider ownership, and reasonable CEO pay, a reasonable mind might conclude that this is one stock worth watching. Of course, identifying quality businesses is only half the battle; investors need to know whether the stock is undervalued. So you might want to consider this free discounted cashflow valuation of BWX Technologies.

Of course, you can do well (sometimes) buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But as a growth investor I always like to check out companies that do have those features. You can access 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.