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 contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Catalent (NYSE:CTLT), 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. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.
See our latest analysis for Catalent
How Quickly Is Catalent Increasing Earnings Per Share?
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. Over the last three years, Catalent has grown EPS by 4.5% per year. While that sort of growth rate isn't amazing, it does show the business is growing.
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. While we note Catalent's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 6.5% to US$2.6b. That's progress.
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.
Fortunately, we've got access to analyst forecasts of Catalent's future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.
Are Catalent 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. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.
Although we did see some insider selling (worth -US$137.7k) this was overshadowed by a mountain of buying, totalling US$2.6m in just one year. This makes me even more interested in Catalent because it suggests that those who understand the company best, are optimistic. It is also worth noting that it was President of Gene Therapy Peter Buzy who made the biggest single purchase, worth US$2.0m, paying US$45.13 per share.
On top of the insider buying, it's good to see that Catalent insiders have a valuable investment in the business. To be specific, they have US$46m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Even though that's only about 0.6% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.
Should You Add Catalent To Your Watchlist?
One positive for Catalent is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. On top of that, we've seen insiders buying shares even though they already own plenty. That makes the company a prime candidate for my watchlist - and arguably a research priority. Once you've identified a business you like, the next step is to consider what you think it's worth. And right now is your chance to view our exclusive discounted cashflow valuation of Catalent. You might benefit from giving it a glance today.
As a growth investor I do like to see insider buying. But Catalent isn't the only one. You can see a a free list of them here.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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