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. 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. Loss making companies can act like a sponge for capital - so investors should be cautious that they're not throwing good money after bad.
In contrast to all that, many investors prefer to focus on companies like AdaptHealth (NASDAQ:AHCO), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.
AdaptHealth's Improving Profits
Over the last three years, AdaptHealth has grown earnings per share (EPS) at as impressive rate from a relatively low point, resulting in a three year percentage growth rate that isn't particularly indicative of expected future performance. So it would be better to isolate the growth rate over the last year for our analysis. Outstandingly, AdaptHealth's EPS shot from US$0.37 to US$0.65, over the last year. It's a rarity to see 76% year-on-year growth like that. Shareholders will be hopeful that this is a sign of the company reaching an inflection point.
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. On the one hand, AdaptHealth's EBIT margins fell over the last year, but on the other hand, revenue grew. So if EBIT margins can stabilize, this top-line growth should pay off for shareholders.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
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 AdaptHealth.
Are AdaptHealth Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
It's a necessity that company leaders act in the best interest of shareholders and so insider investment always comes as a reassurance to the market. So it is good to see that AdaptHealth insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. Indeed, they have a considerable amount of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$472m. Coming in at 18% of the business, that holding gives insiders a lot of influence, and plenty of reason to generate value for shareholders. So there is opportunity here to invest in a company whose management have tangible incentives to deliver.
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$2.0b and US$6.4b, like AdaptHealth, the median CEO pay is around US$6.6m.
AdaptHealth offered total compensation worth US$4.0m to its CEO in the year to December 2021. 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.
Should You Add AdaptHealth To Your Watchlist?
AdaptHealth's earnings per share have been soaring, with growth rates sky high. An added bonus for those interested is that management hold a heap of stock and the CEO pay is quite reasonable, illustrating good cash management. The sharp increase in earnings could signal good business momentum. Big growth can make big winners, so the writing on the wall tells us that AdaptHealth is worth considering carefully. Even so, be aware that AdaptHealth is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is significant...
There's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you to check out companies that do have those features. You can access a free list of them here.
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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