It's common for many investors, especially those who are inexperienced, to buy shares in companies with a good story even if these companies are loss-making. Unfortunately, these high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson. A loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the inflow of external capital may dry up.
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 PG&E (NYSE:PCG). Now this is not to say that the company presents the best investment opportunity around, but profitability is a key component to success in business.
How Fast Is PG&E Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
Strong earnings per share (EPS) results are an indicator of a company achieving solid profits, which investors look upon favourably and so the share price tends to reflect great EPS performance. So a growing EPS generally brings attention to a company in the eyes of prospective investors. Commendations have to be given in seeing that PG&E grew its EPS from US$0.13 to US$0.95, in one short year. Even though that growth rate may not be repeated, that looks like a breakout improvement.
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. It was a year of stability for PG&E as both revenue and EBIT margins remained have been flat over the past year. That's not a major concern but nor does it point to the long term growth we like to see.
You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. 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 PG&E's future EPS 100% free.
Are PG&E Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$34b company like PG&E. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. To be specific, they have US$44m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. While their ownership only accounts for 0.1%, this is still a considerable amount at stake to encourage the business to maintain a strategy that will deliver value to shareholders.
Should You Add PG&E To Your Watchlist?
PG&E's 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. So based on this quick analysis, we do think it's worth considering PG&E for a spot on your watchlist. However, before you get too excited we've discovered 2 warning signs for PG&E (1 is concerning!) that you should be aware of.
Although PG&E 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.
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