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. 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.
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Cloetta (STO:CLA B). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business than can consistently produce it. 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.
How Quickly Is Cloetta Increasing Earnings Per Share?
As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Over the last three years, Cloetta has grown EPS by 5.0% per year. That might not be particularly high growth, but it does show that per-share earnings are moving steadily in the right direction.
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. While we note Cloetta's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 2.3% to kr6.3b. That's progress.
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.
In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Cloetta's forecast profits?
Are Cloetta Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like the kids in the streets standing up for their beliefs, insider share purchases give me reason to believe in a brighter future. That's because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.
While Cloetta insiders did net -kr1.3m selling stock over the last year, they invested kr4.1m, a much higher figure. You could argue that level of buying implies genuine confidence in the business. It is also worth noting that it was Chief Financial Officer Frans Rydén who made the biggest single purchase, worth kr1.4m, paying kr26.63 per share.
On top of the insider buying, it's good to see that Cloetta insiders have a valuable investment in the business. To be specific, they have kr245m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 3.0% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.
Is Cloetta Worth Keeping An Eye On?
One positive for Cloetta is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. On top of that, we've seen insiders buying shares even though they already own plenty. To me, that all makes it well worth a spot on your watchlist, as well as continuing research. While we've looked at the quality of the earnings, we haven't yet done any work to value the stock. So if you like to buy cheap, you may want to check if Cloetta is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
As a growth investor I do like to see insider buying. But Cloetta isn't the only one. You can see a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.