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Here's Why I Think First Industrial Realty Trust (NYSE:FR) Might Deserve Your Attention Today

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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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. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like First Industrial Realty Trust (NYSE:FR). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

Check out our latest analysis for First Industrial Realty Trust

How Quickly Is First Industrial Realty Trust Increasing Earnings Per Share?

The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so share price follows earnings per share (EPS) eventually. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. First Industrial Realty Trust managed to grow EPS by 15% per year, over three years. 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. I note that First Industrial Realty Trust'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 First Industrial Realty Trust's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 6.7% to US$448m. That's a real positive.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

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

Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for First Industrial Realty Trust.

Are First Industrial Realty Trust Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since First Industrial Realty Trust has a market capitalization of US$5.7b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. With a whopping US$61m worth of shares as a group, insiders have plenty riding on the company's success. This should keep them focused on creating long term value for shareholders.

It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like First Industrial Realty Trust with market caps between US$4.0b and US$12b is about US$6.2m.

First Industrial Realty Trust offered total compensation worth US$4.4m to its CEO in the year to . That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Should You Add First Industrial Realty Trust To Your Watchlist?

One important encouraging feature of First Industrial Realty Trust is that it is growing profits. The fact that EPS is growing is a genuine positive for First Industrial Realty Trust, 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. We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 5 warning signs for First Industrial Realty Trust (2 can't be ignored!) that you need to be mindful of.

You can invest in any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies 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.