Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card!
For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and 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 Commercial Metals (NYSE:CMC). 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.
How Fast Is Commercial Metals Growing?
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. It certainly is nice to see that Commercial Metals has managed to grow EPS by 24% per year over three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be smiling.
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). Commercial Metals maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 27% to US$5.6b. That's progress.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Commercial Metals's forecast profits?
Are Commercial Metals Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like standing at the lookout, surveying the horizon at sunrise, insider buying, for some investors, sparks joy. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. Of course, we can never be sure what insiders are thinking, we can only judge their actions.
The good news for Commercial Metals shareholders is that no insiders reported selling shares in the last year. So it's definitely nice that Senior VP & CFO Mary Lindsey bought US$16k worth of shares at an average price of around US$15.92.
The good news, alongside the insider buying, for Commercial Metals bulls is that insiders (collectively) have a meaningful investment in the stock. Indeed, they hold US$34m worth of its stock. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 1.7% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.
Should You Add Commercial Metals To Your Watchlist?
For growth investors like me, Commercial Metals's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. Better still, insiders own a large chunk of the company and one has even been buying more shares. So I do think this is one stock worth watching. If you think Commercial Metals might suit your style as an investor, you could go straight to its annual report, or you could first check our discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation for the company.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Commercial Metals, 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
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 email@example.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.