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Is Now The Time To Put L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) On Your Watchlist?

Simply Wall St

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 as Warren Buffett has mused, 'If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.' When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

See our latest analysis for L3Harris Technologies

How Quickly Is L3Harris Technologies Increasing Earnings Per Share?

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, L3Harris Technologies's EPS has grown 18% each year, compound, over three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away winners.

Careful consideration of revenue growth and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margins can help inform a view on the sustainability of the recent profit growth. While we note L3Harris Technologies's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 54% to US$9.7b. That's progress.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

NYSE:LHX Income Statement, December 5th 2019

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 L3Harris Technologies?

Are L3Harris Technologies Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. That's because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. Of course, we can never be sure what insiders are thinking, we can only judge their actions.

We do note that, in the last year, insiders sold -US$1.2m worth of shares. But that's far less than the US$2.5m insiders spend purchasing stock. This makes me even more interested in L3Harris Technologies because it suggests that those who understand the company best, are optimistic. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Independent Director Lewis Hay for US$2.0m worth of shares, at about US$203 per share.

On top of the insider buying, it's good to see that L3Harris Technologies insiders have a valuable investment in the business. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$231m. 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.

Is L3Harris Technologies Worth Keeping An Eye On?

For growth investors like me, L3Harris Technologies's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. On top of that, insiders own a significant stake in the company and have been buying more shares. So I do think this is one stock worth watching. 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 L3Harris Technologies is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

As a growth investor I do like to see insider buying. But L3Harris Technologies isn't the only one. You can see a a free list of them here.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction

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.

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. Thank you for reading.