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. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, so investors in these companies may be taking on more risk than they should.
Despite being in the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, many investors still adopt a more traditional strategy; buying shares in profitable companies like Nufarm (ASX:NUF). Even if this company is fairly valued by the market, investors would agree that generating consistent profits will continue to provide Nufarm with the means to add long-term value to shareholders.
Nufarm's Improving Profits
In the last three years Nufarm's earnings per share took off; so much so that it's a bit disingenuous to use these figures to try and deduce long term estimates. As a result, we'll zoom in on growth over the last year, instead. Outstandingly, Nufarm's EPS shot from AU$0.15 to AU$0.26, over the last year. It's a rarity to see 73% year-on-year growth like that.
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. While we note Nufarm achieved similar EBIT margins to last year, revenue grew by a solid 17% to AU$3.8b. 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.
The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. While crystal balls don't exist, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for Nufarm's future EPS 100% free.
Are Nufarm Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Investors are always searching for a vote of confidence in the companies they hold and insider buying is one of the key indicators for optimism on the market. Because often, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.
Not only did Nufarm insiders refrain from selling stock during the year, but they also spent AU$272k buying it. That paints the company in a nice light, as it signals that its leaders are feeling confident in where the company is heading. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by MD, CEO & Executive Director Gregory Hunt for AU$138k worth of shares, at about AU$5.51 per share.
Should You Add Nufarm To Your Watchlist?
Nufarm's earnings per share have been soaring, with growth rates sky high. Most growth-seeking investors will find it hard to ignore that sort of explosive EPS growth. And may very well signal a significant inflection point for the business. If this is the case, then keeping a watch over Nufarm could be in your best interest. If you think Nufarm might suit your style as an investor, you could go straight to its annual report, or you could first check our discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation for the company.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Nufarm, 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.
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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