Investors are often guided by the idea of discovering 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without any revenue, let alone profit. 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. A loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the inflow of external capital may dry up.
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 Weir Group (LON:WEIR). While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.
How Fast Is Weir Group Growing?
If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS) outcomes. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. It certainly is nice to see that Weir Group has managed to grow EPS by 37% per year over three years. If growth like this continues on into the future, then shareholders will have plenty to smile about.
It's often helpful to take a look at earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. While we note Weir Group achieved similar EBIT margins to last year, revenue grew by a solid 8.9% to UK£2.1b. That's encouraging news for the company!
You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Weir Group's future profits.
Are Weir Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
It's said that there's no smoke without fire. For investors, insider buying is often the smoke that indicates which stocks could set the market alight. Because often, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. Of course, we can never be sure what insiders are thinking, we can only judge their actions.
It's nice to see that there have been no reports of any insiders selling shares in Weir Group in the previous 12 months. Add in the fact that Barbara Jeremiah, the Independent Chairman of the company, paid UK£35k for shares at around UK£17.37 each. Decent buying like this could be a sign for shareholders here; management sees the company as undervalued.
Recent insider purchases of Weir Group stock is not the only way management has kept the interests of the general public shareholders in mind. To be specific, the CEO is paid modestly when compared to company peers of the same size. The median total compensation for CEOs of companies similar in size to Weir Group, with market caps between UK£3.4b and UK£10b, is around UK£2.6m.
The Weir Group CEO received UK£1.8m in compensation for the year ending December 2021. That seems pretty reasonable, especially given it's below the median for similar sized companies. While the level of CEO compensation shouldn't be the biggest factor in how the company is viewed, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.
Should You Add Weir Group To Your Watchlist?
If you believe that share price follows earnings per share you should definitely be delving further into Weir Group's strong EPS growth. But wait, it gets better. We have seen insider buying and the executive pay seems on the modest side of things. On balance the message seems to be that this stock is worth looking at, at least for a while. Still, you should learn about the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Weir Group.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Weir Group, you'll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
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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.
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