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If You Like EPS Growth Then Check Out Ohio Valley Banc (NASDAQ:OVBC) Before It's Too Late

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It's only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in 'sexy' stocks with a good story, even if those businesses lose money. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?' Leuz et. al. found that it is 'quite common' for investors to lose money by buying into 'pump and dump' schemes.

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Ohio Valley Banc (NASDAQ:OVBC), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

View our latest analysis for Ohio Valley Banc

Ohio Valley Banc's Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS). That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Over the last three years, Ohio Valley Banc has grown EPS by 14% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.

I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. Not all of Ohio Valley Banc's revenue this year is revenue from operations, so keep in mind the revenue and margin numbers I've used might not be the best representation of the underlying business. Ohio Valley Banc maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 7.5% to US$52m. That's progress.

You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. For finer detail, click on the image.

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

Since Ohio Valley Banc is no giant, with a market capitalization of US$130m, so you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.

Are Ohio Valley Banc Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like that fresh smell in the air when the rains are coming, insider buying fills me with optimistic anticipation. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.

Not only did Ohio Valley Banc insiders refrain from selling stock during the year, but they also spent US$52k buying it. That's nice to see, because it suggests insiders are optimistic. We also note that it was the Independent Director, Edward Robbins, who made the biggest single acquisition, paying US$46k for shares at about US$23.00 each.

Is Ohio Valley Banc Worth Keeping An Eye On?

As I already mentioned, Ohio Valley Banc is a growing business, which is what I like to see. While some companies are struggling to grow EPS, Ohio Valley Banc seems free from that morose affliction. The cherry on top is the insider share purchases, which provide an extra impetus to keep and eye on this stock, at the very least. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Ohio Valley Banc by focusing on just these factors, or you could also consider how its price-to-earnings ratio compares to other companies in its industry.

The good news is that Ohio Valley Banc 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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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