Investors are often guided by the idea of discovering 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without any revenue, let alone profit. But the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses. A loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the inflow of external capital may dry up.
So if this idea of high risk and high reward doesn't suit, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Frontline (NYSE:FRO). While this doesn't necessarily speak to whether it's undervalued, the profitability of the business is enough to warrant some appreciation - especially if its growing.
How Fast Is Frontline Growing?
Generally, companies experiencing growth in earnings per share (EPS) should see similar trends in share price. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Frontline managed to grow EPS by 14% per year, over three years. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.
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. Frontline shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 8.2% to 43%, and revenue is growing. Both of which are great metrics to check off for potential growth.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings and revenue, over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Frontline's future profits.
Are Frontline Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Seeing insiders owning a large portion of the shares on issue is often a good sign. Their incentives will be aligned with the investors and there's less of a probability in a sudden sell-off that would impact the share price. So we're pleased to report that Frontline insiders own a meaningful share of the business. Owning 36% of the company, insiders have plenty riding on the performance of the the share price. Shareholders and speculators should be reassured by this kind of alignment, as it suggests the business will be run for the benefit of shareholders. US$1.5b This is an incredible endorsement from them.
While it's always good to see some strong conviction in the company from insiders through heavy investment, it's also important for shareholders to ask if management compensation policies are reasonable. Well, based on the CEO pay, you'd argue that they are indeed. Our analysis has discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Frontline with market caps between US$2.0b and US$6.4b is about US$6.7m.
Frontline's CEO took home a total compensation package of US$1.2m in the year prior to December 2022. That's clearly well below average, so at a glance that arrangement seems generous to shareholders and points to a modest remuneration culture. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.
Should You Add Frontline To Your Watchlist?
As previously touched on, Frontline is a growing business, which is encouraging. The fact that EPS is growing is a genuine positive for Frontline, but the pleasant picture gets better than that. With a meaningful level of insider ownership, and reasonable CEO pay, a reasonable mind might conclude that this is one stock worth watching. However, before you get too excited we've discovered 4 warning signs for Frontline (1 is concerning!) that you should be aware of.
Although Frontline certainly looks good, it may appeal to more investors if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.
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.