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Is Now The Time To Put Securitas (STO:SECU B) On Your Watchlist?

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. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Securitas (STO:SECU B). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. 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.

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Check out our latest analysis for Securitas

How Quickly Is Securitas Increasing Earnings Per Share?

If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS). Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Securitas managed to grow EPS by 7.5% per year, over three years. That might not be particularly high growth, but it does show that per-share earnings are moving steadily in the right direction.

One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. While we note Securitas's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 13% to kr105b. That's progress.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

OM:SECU B Income Statement, May 16th 2019

Fortunately, we've got access to analyst forecasts of Securitas's future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.

Are Securitas Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like the kids in the streets standing up for their beliefs, insider share purchases give me reason to believe in a brighter future. That's because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.

We do note that, in the last year, insiders sold -kr3.2m worth of shares. But that's far less than the kr15m insiders spend purchasing stock. I find this encouraging because it suggests they are optimistic about the Securitas's future. We also note that it was the , Santiago Galaz, who made the biggest single acquisition, paying kr4.9m for shares at about kr147 each.

Is Securitas Worth Keeping An Eye On?

As I already mentioned, Securitas is a growing business, which is what I like to see. Not every business can grow its EPS, but Securitas certainly can. The cherry on top is the insider share purchases, which provide an extra impetus to keep and eye on this stock, at the very least. Once you've identified a business you like, the next step is to consider what you think it's worth. And right now is your chance to view our exclusive discounted cashflow valuation of Securitas. You might benefit from giving it a glance today.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Securitas, you'll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.