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. 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.
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Hiolle Industries (EPA:ALHIO), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Now, I'm not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can't shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. 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.
Hiolle Industries's Earnings Per Share Are 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. We can see that in the last three years Hiolle Industries grew its EPS by 10.0% per year. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.
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. Hiolle Industries shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 3.9% to 7.4%, and revenue is growing. That's great to see, on both counts.
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.
Since Hiolle Industries is no giant, with a market capitalization of €46m, so you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.
Are Hiolle Industries Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
As a general rule, I think it worth considering how much the CEO is paid, since unreasonably high rates could be considered against the interests of shareholders. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Hiolle Industries with market caps under €180m is about €281k.
The Hiolle Industries CEO received €164k in compensation for the year ending December 2018. That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. I'd also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.
Is Hiolle Industries Worth Keeping An Eye On?
One important encouraging feature of Hiolle Industries is that it is growing profits. Not only that, but the CEO is paid quite reasonably, which makes me feel more trusting of the board of directors. So I do think the stock deserves further research, if not instant addition to your watchlist. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Hiolle Industries by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.
Of course, you can do well (sometimes) buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But as a growth investor I always like 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
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