Here's Why I Think Duke Realty (NYSE:DRE) Might Deserve Your Attention Today

Simply Wall St

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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.

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So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Duke Realty (NYSE:DRE). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.

View our latest analysis for Duke Realty

Duke Realty'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. Duke Realty managed to grow EPS by 7.1% per year, over three years. While that sort of growth rate isn't amazing, it does show the business is growing.

I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. Not all of Duke Realty's revenue this year is revenue from operations, so keep in mind the revenue and margin numbers I've used might not be the best representation of the underlying business. Unfortunately, Duke Realty's revenue dropped 4.1% last year, but the silver lining is that EBIT margins improved from 25% to 27%. That falls short of ideal.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

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

Fortunately, we've got access to analyst forecasts of Duke Realty's future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.

Are Duke Realty Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since Duke Realty has a market capitalization of US$13b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. To be specific, they have US$25m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Despite being just 0.2% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. For companies with market capitalizations over US$8.0b, like Duke Realty, the median CEO pay is around US$11m.

The Duke Realty CEO received US$6.7m in compensation for the year ending . That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Is Duke Realty Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One positive for Duke Realty is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. The fact that EPS is growing is a genuine positive for Duke Realty, but the pretty picture gets better than that. Boasting both modest CEO pay and considerable insider ownership, I'd argue this one is worthy of the watchlist, at least. You should always think about risks though. Case in point, we've spotted 5 warning signs for Duke Realty you should be aware of, and 2 of them are a bit unpleasant.

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.

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.

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