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. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in FFI Holdings (ASX:FFI). Now, I'm not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can't shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.
How Quickly Is FFI Holdings Increasing Earnings Per Share?
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). That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. We can see that in the last three years FFI Holdings grew its EPS by 13% per year. That's a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.
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. FFI Holdings maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 11% to AU$39m. That's a real positive.
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.
FFI Holdings isn't a huge company, given its market capitalization of AU$51m. That makes it extra important to check on its balance sheet strength.
Are FFI Holdings Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like the kids in the streets standing up for their beliefs, insider share purchases give me reason to believe in a brighter future. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.
The good news for FFI Holdings shareholders is that no insiders reported selling shares in the last year. With that in mind, it's heartening that Robert Fraser, the Non-Executive Director of the company, paid AU$65k for shares at around AU$4.18 each.
And the insider buying isn't the only sign of alignment between shareholders and the board, since FFI Holdings insiders own more than a third of the company. Indeed, with a collective holding of 57%, company insiders are in control and have plenty of capital behind the venture. This makes me think they will be incentivised to plan for the long term - something I like to see. With that sort of holding, insiders have about AU$29m riding on the stock, at current prices. That's nothing to sneeze at!
Should You Add FFI Holdings To Your Watchlist?
One important encouraging feature of FFI Holdings is that it is growing profits. On top of that, we've seen insiders buying shares even though they already own plenty. To me, that all makes it well worth a spot on your watchlist, as well as continuing research. Now, you could try to make up your mind on FFI Holdings by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.
The good news is that FFI Holdings 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
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