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Here's Why We Think Mount Gibson Iron (ASX:MGX) Is Well Worth Watching

Simply Wall St

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 the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses.

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Mount Gibson Iron (ASX:MGX), which has not only revenues, but also profits. 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. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

Check out our latest analysis for Mount Gibson Iron

How Fast Is Mount Gibson Iron Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

Even modest earnings per share growth (EPS) can create meaningful value, when it is sustained reliably from year to year. So EPS growth can certainly encourage an investor to take note of a stock. Like a firecracker arcing through the night sky, Mount Gibson Iron's EPS shot from AU$0.058 to AU$0.12, over the last year. Year on year growth of 101% is certainly a sight to behold.

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. The good news is that Mount Gibson Iron is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 6.7 percentage points to 23%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. For finer detail, click on the image.

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

While profitability drives the upside, prudent investors always check the balance sheet, too.

Are Mount Gibson Iron Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I always like to check up on CEO compensation, because I think that reasonable pay levels, around or below the median, can be a sign that shareholder interests are well considered. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Mount Gibson Iron with market caps between AU$557m and AU$2.2b is about AU$1.4m.

The Mount Gibson Iron CEO received AU$1.2m in compensation for the year ending . That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. While the level of CEO compensation isn't a huge factor in my view of the company, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Should You Add Mount Gibson Iron To Your Watchlist?

Mount Gibson Iron's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. With rocketing profits, its seems likely the business has a rosy future; and it may have hit an inflection point. Meanwhile, the very reasonable CEO pay reassures me a little, since it points to an absence profligacy. While I couldn't be sure without a deeper dive, it does seem that Mount Gibson Iron has the hallmarks of a quality business; and that would make it well worth watching. What about risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Mount Gibson Iron (of which 1 shouldn't be ignored!) you should know about.

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.

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.

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