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Here's Why We Think Johnson Electric Holdings (HKG:179) Is Well Worth Watching

Simply Wall St

For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Johnson Electric Holdings (HKG:179). 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.

View our latest analysis for Johnson Electric Holdings

Johnson Electric Holdings's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. Johnson Electric Holdings managed to grow EPS by 15% per year, over three years. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.

I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). To cut to the chase Johnson Electric Holdings's EBIT margins dropped last year, and so did its revenue. That will not make it easy to grow profits, to say the least.

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.

SEHK:179 Income Statement, December 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 Johnson Electric Holdings EPS 100% free.

Are Johnson Electric Holdings Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. This view is based on the possibility that stock purchases signal bullishness on behalf of the buyer. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.

It's a pleasure to note that insiders spent US$261m buying Johnson Electric Holdings shares, over the last year, without reporting any share sales whatsoever. As if for a flower bud approaching bloom, I become an expectant observer, anticipating with hope, that something splendid is coming. It is also worth noting that it was Honorary Chairman Yik-Chun Koo Wang who made the biggest single purchase, worth HK$165m, paying HK$13.68 per share.

On top of the insider buying, we can also see that Johnson Electric Holdings insiders own a large chunk of the company. In fact, they own 68% of the company, so they will share in the same delights and challenges experienced by the ordinary shareholders. This makes me think they will be incentivised to plan for the long term - something I like to see. At the current share price, that insider holding is worth a whopping US$11b. Now that's what I call some serious skin in the game!

Is Johnson Electric Holdings Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One important encouraging feature of Johnson Electric Holdings is that it is growing profits. Better yet, insiders are significant shareholders, and have been buying more shares. To me, that all makes it well worth a spot on your watchlist, as well as continuing research. 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 Johnson Electric Holdings.

The good news is that Johnson Electric 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

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.