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Is Now The Time To Put Siebert Financial (NASDAQ:SIEB) On Your Watchlist?

Simply Wall St

For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Siebert Financial (NASDAQ:SIEB). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

See our latest analysis for Siebert Financial

Siebert Financial's Improving Profits

Over the last three years, Siebert Financial has grown earnings per share (EPS) like young bamboo after rain; fast, and from a low base. So I don't think the percent growth rate is particularly meaningful. As a result, I'll zoom in on growth over the last year, instead. Like the last firework on New Year's Eve accelerating into the sky, Siebert Financial's EPS shot from US$0.21 to US$0.39, over the last year. You don't see 85% year-on-year growth like that, very often.

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. I note that Siebert Financial's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. While we note Siebert Financial's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 18% to US$28m. That's progress.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

NasdaqCM:SIEB Income Statement, November 8th 2019

Siebert Financial isn't a huge company, given its market capitalization of US$244m. That makes it extra important to check on its balance sheet strength.

Are Siebert Financial Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Many consider high insider ownership to be a strong sign of alignment between the leaders of a company and the ordinary shareholders. So we're pleased to report that Siebert Financial insiders own a meaningful share of the business. Indeed, with a collective holding of 56%, company insiders are in control and have plenty of capital behind the venture. This makes me think they will be incentivised to plan for the long term - something I like to see. In terms of absolute value, insiders have US$136m invested in the business, using the current share price. That should be more than enough to keep them focussed on creating shareholder value!

Does Siebert Financial Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

Siebert Financial's earnings per share growth have been levitating higher, like a mountain goat scaling the Alps. 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 Siebert Financial for a spot on your watchlist. 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 Siebert Financial is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Although Siebert Financial 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.