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Here's Why We Think Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) Is Well Worth Watching

Simply Wall St

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Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone 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.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business than can consistently produce it. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

See our latest analysis for Zoetis

How Fast Is Zoetis Growing?

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Who among us would not applaud Zoetis's stratospheric annual EPS growth of 56%, compound, over the last three years? While that sort of growth rate isn't sustainable for long, it certainly catches my attention; like a glint in the eye of my lover.

I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). On the one hand, Zoetis's EBIT margins fell over the last year, but on the other hand, revenue grew. So it seems the future my hold further growth, especially if EBIT margins can stabilize.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

NYSE:ZTS Income Statement, June 19th 2019

In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Zoetis's forecast profits?

Are Zoetis Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$54b company like Zoetis. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. To be specific, they have US$47m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Despite being just 0.09% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

Does Zoetis Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

Zoetis'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. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So to my mind Zoetis is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. Of course, just because Zoetis 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.

Although Zoetis 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

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.