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Here's Why I Think Lakeland Bancorp (NASDAQ:LBAI) Is An Interesting Stock

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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 Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Lakeland Bancorp (NASDAQ:LBAI). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.

See our latest analysis for Lakeland Bancorp

How Fast Is Lakeland Bancorp 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. We can see that in the last three years Lakeland Bancorp grew its EPS by 12% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.

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. Not all of Lakeland Bancorp's revenue this year is revenue from operations, so keep in mind the revenue and margin numbers I've used might not be the best representation of the underlying business. While we note Lakeland Bancorp's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 31% to US$265m. That's progress.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

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

While we live in the present moment at all times, there's no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Lakeland Bancorp?

Are Lakeland Bancorp Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like the kids in the streets standing up for their beliefs, insider share purchases give me reason to believe in a brighter future. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. Of course, we can never be sure what insiders are thinking, we can only judge their actions.

It's good to see Lakeland Bancorp insiders walking the walk, by spending US$311k on shares in just twelve months. And when you consider that there was no insider selling, you can understand why shareholders might believe that lady luck will grace this business. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Executive VP & Chief Information Officer Sing Loy Ho for US$50k worth of shares, at about US$16.53 per share.

On top of the insider buying, it's good to see that Lakeland Bancorp insiders have a valuable investment in the business. To be specific, they have US$38m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 3.9% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

Does Lakeland Bancorp Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

One important encouraging feature of Lakeland Bancorp is that it is growing profits. On top of that, we've seen insiders buying shares even though they already own plenty. To me, that all makes it well worth a spot on your watchlist, as well as continuing research. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Lakeland Bancorp by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Lakeland Bancorp, you'll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.