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It's only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in 'sexy' stocks with a good story, even if those businesses lose money. 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.
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Crown Holdings (NYSE:CCK). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.
Crown Holdings's Improving Profits
Even with very modest growth rates, a company will usually do well if it improves earnings per share (EPS) year after year. So it's no surprise that some investors are more inclined to invest in profitable businesses. Over twelve months, Crown Holdings increased its EPS from US$3.56 to US$3.85. That's a modest gain of 8.3%.
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). Crown Holdings reported flat revenue and EBIT margins over the last year. That's not bad, but it doesn't point to ongoing future growth, either.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
While we live in the present moment at all times, there's no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Crown Holdings?
Are Crown Holdings Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$12b company like Crown Holdings. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$246m. I would find that kind of skin in the game quite encouraging, if I owned shares, since it would ensure that the leaders of the company would also experience my success, or failure, with the stock.
Does Crown Holdings Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
As I already mentioned, Crown Holdings is a growing business, which is what I like to see. 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. It is worth noting though that we have found 2 warning signs for Crown Holdings (1 can't be ignored!) that you need to take into consideration.
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.
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. 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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