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I Ran A Stock Scan For Earnings Growth And Houston Wire & Cable (NASDAQ:HWCC) Passed With Ease

Simply Wall St

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

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Houston Wire & Cable (NASDAQ:HWCC), which has not only revenues, but also profits. 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.

View our latest analysis for Houston Wire & Cable

How Fast Is Houston Wire & Cable Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

In a capitalist society capital chases profits, and that means share prices tend rise with earnings per share (EPS). So like a ray of sunshine through a gap in the clouds, improving EPS is considered a good sign. It is therefore awe-striking that Houston Wire & Cable's EPS went from US$0.13 to US$0.55 in just one year. Even though that growth rate is unlikely to be repeated, that looks like a breakout improvement.

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). Houston Wire & Cable maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 10% to US$357m. That's progress.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

NasdaqGS:HWCC Income Statement, June 23rd 2019

Since Houston Wire & Cable is no giant, with a market capitalization of US$92m, so you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.

Are Houston Wire & Cable 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. This view is based on the possibility that stock purchases signal bullishness on behalf of the buyer. Of course, we can never be sure what insiders are thinking, we can only judge their actions.

It's a pleasure to note that insiders spent US$949k buying Houston Wire & Cable shares, over the last year, without reporting any share sales whatsoever. As if for a flower bud approaching bloom, I become an expectant observer, anticipating with hope, that something splendid is coming. We also note that it was the Independent Director, Roy Haley, who made the biggest single acquisition, paying US$243k for shares at about US$6.04 each.

Should You Add Houston Wire & Cable To Your Watchlist?

Houston Wire & Cable's earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. If you're like me, you'll find it hard to ignore that sort of explosive EPS growth. And indeed, it could be a sign that the business is at an inflection point. For me, this situation certainly piques my interest. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Houston Wire & Cable by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Houston Wire & Cable, 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.