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.
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Country Garden Holdings (HKG:2007), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.
Country Garden Holdings's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.
If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS). Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Who among us would not applaud Country Garden Holdings's stratospheric annual EPS growth of 59%, compound, over the last three years? That sort of growth never lasts long, but like a shooting star it is well worth watching when it happens.
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. Country Garden Holdings maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 60% to CN¥449b. That's a real positive.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, 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 Country Garden Holdings's forecast profits?
Are Country Garden Holdings Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.
The good news is that Country Garden Holdings insiders spent a whopping CN¥68m on stock in just one year, and I didn't see any selling. And so I find myself almost expectant, and certainly hopeful, that this large outlay signals prescient optimism for the business. It is also worth noting that it was President Bin Mo who made the biggest single purchase, worth HK$18m, paying HK$12.09 per share.
On top of the insider buying, we can also see that Country Garden Holdings insiders own a large chunk of the company. In fact, they own 58% of the company, so they will share in the same delights and challenges experienced by the ordinary shareholders. To me this is a good sign because it suggests they will be incentivised to build value for shareholders over the long term. And their holding is extremely valuable at the current share price, totalling CN¥135b. That means they have plenty of their own capital riding on the performance of the business!
Should You Add Country Garden Holdings To Your Watchlist?
Country Garden Holdings's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. Just as heartening; insiders both own and are buying more stock. Because of the potential that it has reached an inflection point, I'd suggest Country Garden Holdings belongs on the top of your watchlist. If you think Country Garden Holdings 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 Country Garden Holdings, 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
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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.