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. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'
In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Terreno Realty (NYSE:TRNO). 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. 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.
How Fast Is Terreno Realty Growing?
As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, Terreno Realty's EPS has grown 32% each year, compound, over three years. This has no doubt fuelled the optimism that sees the stock trading on a high multiple of earnings.
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. The good news is that Terreno Realty is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 2.7 percentage points to 36%, over the last year. That's great to see, on both counts.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, 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 Terreno Realty?
Are Terreno Realty Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. So it is good to see that Terreno Realty insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. Given insiders own a small fortune of shares, currently valued at US$83m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. This should keep them focused on creating long term value for shareholders.
It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Terreno Realty with market caps between US$2.0b and US$6.4b is about US$5.7m.
Terreno Realty offered total compensation worth US$3.2m to its CEO in the year to . That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.
Does Terreno Realty Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
You can't deny that Terreno Realty has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. If you need more convincing beyond that EPS growth rate, don't forget about the reasonable remuneration and the high insider ownership. This may only be a fast rundown, but the takeaway for me is that Terreno Realty is worth keeping an eye on. We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 3 warning signs for Terreno Realty (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that you need to be mindful of.
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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