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Does Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ:ECPG) Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?




  • In Business
  • 2021-09-16 11:34:43Z
  • By 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. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?' Leuz et. al. found that it is 'quite common' for investors to lose money by buying into 'pump and dump' schemes.

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ:ECPG), 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. 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.

See our latest analysis for Encore Capital Group

How Quickly Is Encore Capital Group Increasing Earnings Per Share?

The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so share price follows earnings per share (EPS) eventually. That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. I, for one, am blown away by the fact that Encore Capital Group has grown EPS by 38% per year, over the last three years. Growth that fast may well be fleeting, but like a lotus blooming from a murky pond, it sparks joy for the wary stock pickers.

I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. I note that Encore Capital Group's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. The good news is that Encore Capital Group is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 3.4 percentage points to 38%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

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.

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

Are Encore Capital Group 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. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.

Like a sturdy phalanx Encore Capital Group insiders have stood united by refusing to sell shares over the last year. But the bigger deal is that the Independent Director, Wendy Hannam, paid US$78k to buy shares at an average price of US$31.01.

On top of the insider buying, it's good to see that Encore Capital Group insiders have a valuable investment in the business. Indeed, they hold US$25m worth of its stock. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 1.7% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

Should You Add Encore Capital Group To Your Watchlist?

Encore Capital Group's earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. The cherry on top is that insiders own a bunch of shares, and one has been buying more. Because of the potential that it has reached an inflection point, I'd suggest Encore Capital Group belongs on the top of your watchlist. You should always think about risks though. Case in point, we've spotted 2 warning signs for Encore Capital Group you should be aware of.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Encore Capital Group, 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.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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