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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 the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like A-Mark Precious Metals (NASDAQ:AMRK). 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.
How Fast Is A-Mark Precious Metals Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
In business, though not in life, profits are a key measure of success; and share prices tend to reflect earnings per share (EPS). So like a ray of sunshine through a gap in the clouds, improving EPS is considered a good sign. It is therefore awe-striking that A-Mark Precious Metals's EPS went from US$1.69 to US$17.30 in just one year. Even though that growth rate is unlikely to be repeated, that looks like a breakout improvement. Could this be a sign that the business has reached an inflection point?
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. A-Mark Precious Metals maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 53% to US$7.1b. That's a real positive.
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.
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 A-Mark Precious Metals EPS 100% free.
Are A-Mark Precious Metals 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. As a result, I'm encouraged by the fact that insiders own A-Mark Precious Metals shares worth a considerable sum. With a whopping US$99m worth of shares as a group, insiders have plenty riding on the company's success. That holding amounts to 20% of the stock on issue, thus making insiders influential, and aligned, owners of the business.
Does A-Mark Precious Metals Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
A-Mark Precious Metals's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. That EPS growth certainly has my attention, and the large insider ownership only serves to further stoke my interest. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So to my mind A-Mark Precious Metals is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. You still need to take note of risks, for example - A-Mark Precious Metals has 6 warning signs (and 4 which are significant) we think you should know about.
Of course, you can do well (sometimes) buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But as a growth investor I always like to check out companies that do have those features. You can access a free list of them here.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
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. 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.
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