Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone profit. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business than 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.
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How Quickly Is Microsoft Increasing Earnings Per Share?
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Who among us would not applaud Microsoft's stratospheric annual EPS growth of 51%, compound, over the last three years? While that sort of growth rate isn't sustainable for long, it certainly catches my attention; like a glint in the eye of my lover.
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. Microsoft maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 15% to US$122b. That's a real positive.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Microsoft's forecast profits?
Are Microsoft Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$966b company like Microsoft. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$13b. This suggests to me that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders' interests when making decisions!
Should You Add Microsoft To Your Watchlist?
Microsoft's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders certainly brightens my view of the company. At times fast EPS growth is a sign the business has reached an inflection point; and I do like those. So yes, on this short analysis I do think it's worth considering Microsoft for a spot on your watchlist. Of course, just because Microsoft is growing does not mean it is undervalued. If you're wondering about the valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
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
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