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Here's Why I Think IDEXX Laboratories (NASDAQ:IDXX) Is An Interesting Stock

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. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?' Leuz et. al. found that it is 'quite common' for investors to lose money by buying into 'pump and dump' schemes.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in IDEXX Laboratories (NASDAQ:IDXX). 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.

See our latest analysis for IDEXX Laboratories

How Quickly Is IDEXX Laboratories 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. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, IDEXX Laboratories's EPS has grown 26% each year, compound, over three years. So it's not surprising to see the company trades on a very high multiple of (past) earnings.

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. IDEXX Laboratories maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 8.8% to US$2.4b. That's progress.

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.

NasdaqGS:IDXX Income Statement, March 14th 2020

You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for IDEXX Laboratories's future profits.

Are IDEXX Laboratories Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since IDEXX Laboratories has a market capitalization of US$22b, 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. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$292m. This suggests to me that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders' interests when making decisions!

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. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like IDEXX Laboratories, with market caps over US$8.0b, is about US$12m.

The IDEXX Laboratories CEO received total compensation of just US$2.9m in the year to . That's clearly well below average, so at a glance, that arrangement seems generous to shareholders, and points to a modest remuneration culture. 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 IDEXX Laboratories Worth Keeping An Eye On?

You can't deny that IDEXX Laboratories has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. If you need more convincing beyond that EPS growth rate, don't forget about the reasonable remuneration and the high insider ownership. Each to their own, but I think all this makes IDEXX Laboratories look rather interesting indeed. Before you take the next step you should know about the 1 warning sign for IDEXX Laboratories that we have uncovered.

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.