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Here's Why I Think Ingevity (NYSE:NGVT) Is An Interesting Stock

Simply Wall St

Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Ingevity (NYSE:NGVT), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

See our latest analysis for Ingevity

Ingevity's Improving Profits

Over the last three years, Ingevity has grown earnings per share (EPS) like young bamboo after rain; fast, and from a low base. So I don't think the percent growth rate is particularly meaningful. Thus, it makes sense to focus on more recent growth rates, instead. Over twelve months, Ingevity increased its EPS from US$4.01 to US$4.34. That amounts to a small improvement of 8.3%.

One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. Ingevity maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 17% to US$1.3b. 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.

NYSE:NGVT Income Statement, November 13th 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 Ingevity EPS 100% free.

Are Ingevity Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. So it is good to see that Ingevity insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. To be specific, they have US$14m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Even though that's only about 0.4% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.

Is Ingevity Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One positive for Ingevity is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. If that's not enough on its own, there is also the rather notable levels of insider ownership. The combination sparks joy for me, so I'd consider keeping the company on a watchlist. Of course, identifying quality businesses is only half the battle; investors need to know whether the stock is undervalued. So you might want to consider this free discounted cashflow valuation of Ingevity.

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

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.