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 currently lacks a track record of revenue and profit. Sometimes these stories can cloud the minds of investors, leading them to invest with their emotions rather than on the merit of good company fundamentals. Loss making companies can act like a sponge for capital - so investors should be cautious that they're not throwing good money after bad.
Despite being in the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, many investors still adopt a more traditional strategy; buying shares in profitable companies like Snap-on (NYSE:SNA). Even if this company is fairly valued by the market, investors would agree that generating consistent profits will continue to provide Snap-on with the means to add long-term value to shareholders.
How Quickly Is Snap-on Increasing Earnings Per Share?
Generally, companies experiencing growth in earnings per share (EPS) should see similar trends in share price. So it makes sense that experienced investors pay close attention to company EPS when undertaking investment research. Impressively, Snap-on has grown EPS by 20% per year, compound, in the last three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be beaming.
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. Not all of Snap-on's revenue this year is revenue from operations, so keep in mind the revenue and margin numbers used in this article might not be the best representation of the underlying business. While we note Snap-on achieved similar EBIT margins to last year, revenue grew by a solid 5.5% to US$5.1b. 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.
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 Snap-on.
Are Snap-on Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$13b company like Snap-on. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. We note that their impressive stake in the company is worth US$246m. Holders should find this level of insider commitment quite encouraging, since it would ensure that the leaders of the company would also experience their success, or failure, with the stock.
It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but shareholders may be wondering if remuneration policies are in their best interest. Our quick analysis into CEO remuneration would seem to indicate they are. For companies with market capitalisations over US$8.0b, like Snap-on, the median CEO pay is around US$13m.
The Snap-on CEO received US$9.5m in compensation for the year ending December 2022. That comes in below the average for similar sized companies and seems pretty reasonable. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when it's reasonable, that gives a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. Generally, arguments can be made that reasonable pay levels attest to good decision-making.
Is Snap-on Worth Keeping An Eye On?
If you believe that share price follows earnings per share you should definitely be delving further into Snap-on's strong EPS growth. If that's not enough, consider also that the CEO pay is quite reasonable, and insiders are well-invested alongside other shareholders. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to investing but it definitely makes Snap-on look rather interesting indeed. Of course, just because Snap-on 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.
There's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you 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.
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.