U.S. markets closed
  • S&P 500

    3,841.94
    +73.47 (+1.95%)
     
  • Dow 30

    31,496.30
    +572.16 (+1.85%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    12,920.15
    +196.68 (+1.55%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    2,192.21
    +45.29 (+2.11%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    66.28
    +2.45 (+3.84%)
     
  • Gold

    1,698.20
    -2.50 (-0.15%)
     
  • Silver

    25.30
    -0.17 (-0.65%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1916
    -0.0063 (-0.52%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.5540
    +0.0040 (+0.26%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3834
    -0.0060 (-0.43%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    108.3600
    +0.3840 (+0.36%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    51,066.86
    +2,197.03 (+4.50%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    982.93
    +39.75 (+4.21%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,630.52
    -20.36 (-0.31%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,864.32
    -65.78 (-0.23%)
     

Here's Why I Think Cowen (NASDAQ:COWN) Might Deserve Your Attention Today

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Simply Wall St
·4 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • 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. 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.

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Cowen (NASDAQ:COWN). 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.

View our latest analysis for Cowen

Cowen's Improving Profits

In business, though not in life, profits are a key measure of success; and share prices tend to reflect earnings per share (EPS). So like a ray of sunshine through a gap in the clouds, improving EPS is considered a good sign. It is therefore awe-striking that Cowen's EPS went from US$0.60 to US$4.33 in just one year. When you see earnings grow that quickly, it often means good things ahead for the company. Could this be a sign that the business has reached an inflection point?

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). I note that Cowen's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. While we note Cowen's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 41% to US$1.2b. That's progress.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

earnings-and-revenue-history
earnings-and-revenue-history

While we live in the present moment at all times, there's no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Cowen?

Are Cowen Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like standing at the lookout, surveying the horizon at sunrise, insider buying, for some investors, sparks joy. 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.

Despite -US$221k worth of sales, Cowen insiders have overwhelmingly been buying the stock, spending US$576k on purchases in the last twelve months. You could argue that level of buying implies genuine confidence in the business. We also note that it was the Independent Director, Brett Barth, who made the biggest single acquisition, paying US$121k for shares at about US$12.13 each.

The good news, alongside the insider buying, for Cowen bulls is that insiders (collectively) have a meaningful investment in the stock. Indeed, they hold US$33m worth of its stock. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Even though that's only about 4.6% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.

Is Cowen Worth Keeping An Eye On?

Cowen's earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. What's more insiders own a significant stake in the company and have been buying more shares. Because of the potential that it has reached an inflection point, I'd suggest Cowen belongs on the top of your watchlist. We should say that we've discovered 5 warning signs for Cowen (2 are concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

The good news is that Cowen is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here's a list of them... with insider buying in the last three months!

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.

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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.