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. Sometimes these stories can cloud the minds of investors, leading them to invest with their emotions rather than on the merit of good company fundamentals. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else investors will move on and the company will wither away.
So if this idea of high risk and high reward doesn't suit, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like DS Smith (LON:SMDS). Even if this company is fairly valued by the market, investors would agree that generating consistent profits will continue to provide DS Smith with the means to add long-term value to shareholders.
View our latest analysis for DS Smith
DS Smith's Earnings Per Share Are Growing
The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so you'd expect share price to follow earnings per share (EPS) outcomes eventually. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. We can see that in the last three years DS Smith grew its EPS by 7.3% per year. This may not be setting the world alight, but it does show that EPS is on the upwards trend.
Top-line growth is a great indicator that growth is sustainable, and combined with a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin, it's a great way for a company to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. DS Smith maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 27% to UK£8.2b. That's a real positive.
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.
While we live in the present moment, there's little doubt that the future matters most in the investment decision process. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for DS Smith?
Are DS Smith Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
It's said that there's no smoke without fire. For investors, insider buying is often the smoke that indicates which stocks could set the market alight. This view is based on the possibility that stock purchases signal bullishness on behalf of the buyer. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.
Despite some DS Smith insiders disposing of some shares, we note that there was UK£120k more in buying interest among those who know the company best Shareholders who may have questioned insiders selling will find some reassurance in this fact. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Group Finance Director & Executive Director Adrian R. Marsh for UK£58k worth of shares, at about UK£2.92 per share.
Along with the insider buying, another encouraging sign for DS Smith is that insiders, as a group, have a considerable shareholding. Indeed, they hold UK£10m worth of its stock. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Even though that's only about 0.2% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.
Does DS Smith Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
One positive for DS Smith is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. In addition, insiders have been busy adding to their sizeable holdings in the company. That should do plenty in prompting budding investors to undertake a bit more research - or even adding the company to their watchlists. Don't forget that there may still be risks. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for DS Smith (1 shouldn't be ignored) you should be aware of.
The good news is that DS Smith is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here's a list of them... 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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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