- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
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. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.
So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Co-Diagnostics (NASDAQ:CODX). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.
Co-Diagnostics's Improving Profits
In the last three years Co-Diagnostics'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. Co-Diagnostics boosted its trailing twelve month EPS from US$1.17 to US$1.44, in the last year. That's a 23% gain; respectable growth in the broader scheme of things.
I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). While we note Co-Diagnostics's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 120% to US$105m. 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.
Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Co-Diagnostics.
Are Co-Diagnostics Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
As a general rule, I think it worth considering how much the CEO is paid, since unreasonably high rates could be considered against the interests of shareholders. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Co-Diagnostics with market caps between US$200m and US$800m is about US$1.7m.
Co-Diagnostics offered total compensation worth US$1.5m to its CEO in the year to . That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. While the level of CEO compensation isn't a huge factor in my view of the company, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.
Should You Add Co-Diagnostics To Your Watchlist?
One important encouraging feature of Co-Diagnostics is that it is growing profits. On top of that, my faith in the board of directors is strengthened by the fact of the reasonable CEO pay. So I do think the stock deserves further research, if not instant addition to your watchlist. You still need to take note of risks, for example - Co-Diagnostics has 3 warning signs (and 1 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.