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Do Kaiser Aluminum's (NASDAQ:KALU) Earnings Warrant Your Attention?

Simply Wall St

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.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Kaiser Aluminum (NASDAQ:KALU). 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.

See our latest analysis for Kaiser Aluminum

How Quickly Is Kaiser Aluminum Increasing Earnings Per Share?

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 Kaiser Aluminum grew its EPS by 9.5% per year. That's a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.

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. It seems Kaiser Aluminum is pretty stable, since revenue and EBIT margins are pretty flat year on year. That's not a major concern but nor does it point to the long term growth we like to see.

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.

NasdaqGS:KALU Income Statement, October 30th 2019

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

Are Kaiser Aluminum Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. As a result, I'm encouraged by the fact that insiders own Kaiser Aluminum shares worth a considerable sum. To be specific, they have US$41m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Despite being just 2.4% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

Is Kaiser Aluminum Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One important encouraging feature of Kaiser Aluminum is that it is growing profits. If that's not enough on its own, there is also the rather notable levels of insider ownership. The combination sparks joy for me, so I'd consider keeping the company on a watchlist. If you think Kaiser Aluminum might suit your style as an investor, you could go straight to its annual report, or you could first check our discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation for the company.

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

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.