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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. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?' Leuz et. al. found that it is 'quite common' for investors to lose money by buying into 'pump and dump' schemes.
So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Sealed Air (NYSE:SEE). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.
How Fast Is Sealed Air Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
Over the last three years, Sealed Air has grown earnings per share (EPS) like young bamboo after rain; fast, and from a low base. So I don't think the percent growth rate is particularly meaningful. Thus, it makes sense to focus on more recent growth rates, instead. Like a falcon taking flight, Sealed Air's EPS soared from US$1.90 to US$3.12, over the last year. That's a commendable gain of 64%.
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. While we note Sealed Air's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 2.3% to US$4.9b. That's progress.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Sealed Air.
Are Sealed Air Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$7.4b company like Sealed Air. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Indeed, they hold US$46m worth of its stock. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Despite being just 0.6% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.
Does Sealed Air Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
You can't deny that Sealed Air has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. I think that EPS growth is something to boast of, and it doesn't surprise me that insiders are holding on to a considerable chunk of shares. So this is very likely the kind of business that I like to spend time researching, with a view to discerning its true value. We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 1 warning sign for Sealed Air that you need to be mindful of.
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.
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