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. Unfortunately, these high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else investors will move on and the company will wither away.
In contrast to all that, many investors prefer to focus on companies like HP (NYSE:HPQ), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Even if this company is fairly valued by the market, investors would agree that generating consistent profits will continue to provide HP with the means to add long-term value to shareholders.
How Quickly Is HP Increasing Earnings Per Share?
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) outcomes. That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Impressively, HP has grown EPS by 35% per year, compound, in the last three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be beaming.
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. HP maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 7.2% to US$65b. That's a real positive.
You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. 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 HP's future profits.
Are HP Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$35b company like HP. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Holding US$61m worth of stock in the company is no laughing matter and insiders will be committed in delivering the best outcomes for shareholders. This should keep them focused on creating long term value for shareholders.
Does HP Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
For growth investors, HP's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. This EPS growth rate is something the company should be proud of, and so it's no surprise that insiders are holding on to a considerable chunk of shares. The growth and insider confidence is looked upon well and so it's worthwhile to investigate further with a view to discern the stock's true value. What about risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 5 warning signs for HP (of which 2 make us uncomfortable!) you should know about.
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.