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With EPS Growth And More, Comfort Systems USA (NYSE:FIX) Makes An Interesting Case

The excitement of investing in a company that can reverse its fortunes is a big draw for some speculators, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can manage to find investors. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.' Loss making companies can act like a sponge for capital - so investors should be cautious that they're not throwing good money after bad.

If this kind of company isn't your style, you like companies that generate revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Comfort Systems USA (NYSE:FIX). 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.

View our latest analysis for Comfort Systems USA

How Fast Is Comfort Systems USA Growing?

Generally, companies experiencing growth in earnings per share (EPS) should see similar trends in share price. So it makes sense that experienced investors pay close attention to company EPS when undertaking investment research. It certainly is nice to see that Comfort Systems USA has managed to grow EPS by 28% per year over three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away satisfied.

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It's often helpful to take a look at earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. While we note Comfort Systems USA achieved similar EBIT margins to last year, revenue grew by a solid 28% to US$5.0b. That's progress.

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.

earnings-and-revenue-history
earnings-and-revenue-history

Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Comfort Systems USA.

Are Comfort Systems USA Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since Comfort Systems USA has a market capitalisation of US$9.0b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But thanks to their investment in the company, it's pleasing to see that there are still incentives to align their actions with the shareholders. We note that their impressive stake in the company is worth US$154m. This suggests that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders' interests when making decisions!

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. For companies with market capitalisations between US$4.0b and US$12b, like Comfort Systems USA, the median CEO pay is around US$7.7m.

The Comfort Systems USA CEO received US$5.4m in compensation for the year ending December 2022. That comes in below the average for similar sized companies and seems pretty reasonable. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when it's reasonable, that gives a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.

Is Comfort Systems USA Worth Keeping An Eye On?

If you believe that share price follows earnings per share you should definitely be delving further into Comfort Systems USA's strong EPS growth. If you need more convincing beyond that EPS growth rate, don't forget about the reasonable remuneration and the high insider ownership. This may only be a fast rundown, but the key takeaway is that Comfort Systems USA is worth keeping an eye on. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Comfort Systems USA by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.

Although Comfort Systems USA certainly looks good, it may appeal to more investors if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see companies with insider buying, then check out this handpicked selection of companies that not only boast of strong growth but have also seen recent insider buying..

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.