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 currently lacks a track record of revenue and profit. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.' Loss making companies can act like a sponge for capital - so investors should be cautious that they're not throwing good money after bad.
So if this idea of high risk and high reward doesn't suit, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Commercial Metals (NYSE:CMC). While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.
Check out our latest analysis for Commercial Metals
Commercial Metals' Improving Profits
Investors and investment funds chase profits, and that means share prices tend rise with positive earnings per share (EPS) outcomes. Which is why EPS growth is looked upon so favourably. Commendations have to be given in seeing that Commercial Metals grew its EPS from US$2.74 to US$8.97, in one short year. Even though that growth rate may not be repeated, that looks like a breakout improvement. This could point to the business hitting a point of inflection.
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. The good news is that Commercial Metals is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 5.1 percentage points to 14%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in our book.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Commercial Metals.
Are Commercial Metals Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
It should give investors a sense of security owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, creating a close alignment their interests. So it is good to see that Commercial Metals insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. Given insiders own a significant chunk of shares, currently valued at US$63m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. This would indicate that the goals of shareholders and management are one and the same.
Does Commercial Metals Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
Commercial Metals' earnings per share growth have been climbing higher at an appreciable rate. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders should certainly brighten the view of the company. At times fast EPS growth is a sign the business has reached an inflection point, so there's a potential opportunity to be had here. Based on the sum of its parts, we definitely think its worth watching Commercial Metals very closely. Don't forget that there may still be risks. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Commercial Metals (2 are potentially serious) you should be aware of.
The beauty of investing is that you can invest in almost 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.
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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.
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