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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. 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. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else investors will move on and the company will wither away.
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 MKS Instruments (NASDAQ:MKSI). While this doesn't necessarily speak to whether it's undervalued, the profitability of the business is enough to warrant some appreciation - especially if its growing.
MKS Instruments' Earnings Per Share Are Growing
The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so you'd expect share price to follow earnings per share (EPS) outcomes eventually. So it makes sense that experienced investors pay close attention to company EPS when undertaking investment research. Impressively, MKS Instruments has grown EPS by 36% per year, compound, in the last 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. EBIT margins for MKS Instruments remained fairly unchanged over the last year, however the company should be pleased to report its revenue growth for the period of 12% to US$3.0b. That's encouraging news for the company!
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. While crystal balls don't exist, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for MKS Instruments' future EPS 100% free.
Are MKS Instruments Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$6.7b company like MKS Instruments. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Indeed, they hold US$35m worth of its stock. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. While their ownership only accounts for 0.5%, this is still a considerable amount at stake to encourage the business to maintain a strategy that will deliver value to shareholders.
Is MKS Instruments Worth Keeping An Eye On?
If you believe that share price follows earnings per share you should definitely be delving further into MKS Instruments' strong EPS growth. Further, the high level of insider ownership is impressive and suggests that the management appreciates the EPS growth and has faith in MKS Instruments' continuing strength. Fast growth and confident insiders should be enough to warrant further research, so it would seem that it's a good stock to follow. While we've looked at the quality of the earnings, we haven't yet done any work to value the stock. So if you like to buy cheap, you may want to check if MKS Instruments is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
The beauty of investing is that you can invest in almost 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.
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.
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