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Is Now The Time To Put Mechel PAO (NYSE:MTL) On Your Watchlist?

Simply Wall St

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Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. 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 Mechel PAO (NYSE:MTL). 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. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Mechel PAO

How Fast Is Mechel PAO Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

Even modest earnings per share growth (EPS) can create meaningful value, when it is sustained reliably from year to year. So EPS growth can certainly encourage an investor to take note of a stock. Like the last firework on New Year's Eve accelerating into the sky, Mechel PAO's EPS shot from RUруб54.81 to RUруб99.32, over the last year. You don't see 81% year-on-year growth like that, very often.

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). While Mechel PAO did well to grow revenue over the last year, EBIT margins were dampened at the same time. So if EBIT margins can stabilize, this top-line growth should pay off for shareholders.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

NYSE:MTL Income Statement, June 22nd 2019

While profitability drives the upside, prudent investors always check the balance sheet, too.

Are Mechel PAO Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I like company leaders to have some skin in the game, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. As a result, I'm encouraged by the fact that insiders own Mechel PAO shares worth a considerable sum. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at RUруб123m. Coming in at 26% of the business, that holding gives insiders a lot of influence, and plenty of reason to generate value for shareholders. Very encouraging.

Should You Add Mechel PAO To Your Watchlist?

Mechel PAO's earnings per share growth has been so hot recently that thinking about it is making me blush. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders certainly brightens my view of the company. At times fast EPS growth is a sign the business has reached an inflection point; and I do like those. So yes, on this short analysis I do think it's worth considering Mechel PAO for a spot on your watchlist. Another important measure of business quality not discussed here, is return on equity (ROE). Click on this link to see how Mechel PAO shapes up to industry peers, when it comes to ROE.

Although Mechel PAO certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.

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.