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Here's Why I Think Mueller Industries (NYSE:MLI) Might Deserve Your Attention Today

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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. 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 Mueller Industries (NYSE:MLI). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

View our latest analysis for Mueller Industries

Mueller Industries's Improving Profits

In the last three years Mueller Industries's earnings per share took off like a rocket; fast, and from a low base. So the actual rate of growth doesn't tell us much. As a result, I'll zoom in on growth over the last year, instead. Like the last firework on New Year's Eve accelerating into the sky, Mueller Industries's EPS shot from US$2.35 to US$6.61, over the last year. You don't see 182% year-on-year growth like that, very often. That could be a sign that the business has reached a true 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. The good news is that Mueller Industries is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 5.1 percentage points to 14%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

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

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

Are Mueller Industries 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. So it is good to see that Mueller Industries insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. With a whopping US$98m worth of shares as a group, insiders have plenty riding on the company's success. That's certainly enough to make me think that management will be very focussed on long term growth.

Does Mueller Industries Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

Mueller Industries'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 Mueller Industries for a spot on your watchlist. Don't forget that there may still be risks. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Mueller Industries that you should be aware of.

Although Mueller Industries certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.

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.