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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. 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 Thomson Reuters (TSE:TRI). 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.
How Fast Is Thomson Reuters Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
In business, though not in life, profits are a key measure of success; and share prices tend to reflect earnings per share (EPS). So like the hint of a smile on a face that I love, growing EPS generally makes me look twice. It is therefore awe-striking that Thomson Reuters's EPS went from US$3.29 to US$12.06 in just one year. Even though that growth rate is unlikely to be repeated, that looks like a breakout improvement.
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 revenue is looking a bit flat, the good news is EBIT margins improved by 4.0 percentage points to 20%, in the last twelve months. That's something to smile about.
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 Thomson Reuters?
Are Thomson Reuters Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Since Thomson Reuters has a market capitalization of CA$65b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. With a whopping US$73m worth of shares as a group, insiders have plenty riding on the company's success. That's certainly enough to make me think that management will be very focussed on long term growth.
Should You Add Thomson Reuters To Your Watchlist?
Thomson Reuters's earnings per share growth have been levitating higher, like a mountain goat scaling the Alps. That EPS growth certainly has my attention, and the large insider ownership only serves to further stoke my interest. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So to my mind Thomson Reuters is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. Before you take the next step you should know about the 3 warning signs for Thomson Reuters (2 are a bit concerning!) that we have uncovered.
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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