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Here's Why I Think Hollysys Automation Technologies (NASDAQ:HOLI) Might Deserve Your Attention Today

Simply Wall St

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.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Hollysys Automation Technologies (NASDAQ:HOLI). 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. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

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View our latest analysis for Hollysys Automation Technologies

Hollysys Automation Technologies's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. We can see that in the last three years Hollysys Automation Technologies grew its EPS by 6.4% per year. While that sort of growth rate isn't amazing, it does show the business is growing.

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. Hollysys Automation Technologies maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 5.5% to US$561m. 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.

NasdaqGS:HOLI Income Statement, May 20th 2019

The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. To that end, right now and today, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for future Hollysys Automation Technologies EPS 100% free.

Are Hollysys Automation Technologies Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I like company leaders to have some skin in the game, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. As a result, I'm encouraged by the fact that insiders own Hollysys Automation Technologies shares worth a considerable sum. Given insiders own a small fortune of shares, currently valued at US$90m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. At 8.1% of the company, the co-investment by insiders gives me confidence that management will make long-term focussed decisions.

Is Hollysys Automation Technologies Worth Keeping An Eye On?

As I already mentioned, Hollysys Automation Technologies is a growing business, which is what I like to see. Just as polish makes silverware pop, the high level of insider ownership enhances my enthusiasm for this growth. That combination appeals to me, for one. So yes, I do think the stock is worth keeping an eye on. Once you've identified a business you like, the next step is to consider what you think it's worth. And right now is your chance to view our exclusive discounted cashflow valuation of Hollysys Automation Technologies. You might benefit from giving it a glance today.

Although Hollysys Automation Technologies certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.

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

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.