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 as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.' 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.
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 Polaris (NYSE:PII). While this doesn't necessarily speak to whether it's undervalued, the profitability of the business is enough to warrant some appreciation - especially if its growing.
How Fast Is Polaris Growing?
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price should eventually follow. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Impressively, Polaris has grown EPS by 25% 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.
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, Polaris' EBIT margins fell over the last year, but on the other hand, revenue grew. So it seems the future may hold further growth, especially if EBIT margins can remain steady.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
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 Polaris' future profits.
Are Polaris Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Owing to the size of Polaris, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a significant proportion of the company. 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. Indeed, they hold US$42m worth of its stock. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Even though that's only about 0.6% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.
Is Polaris Worth Keeping An Eye On?
For growth investors, Polaris' raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. Further, the high level of insider ownership is impressive and suggests that the management appreciates the EPS growth and has faith in Polaris' continuing strength. 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. Still, you should learn about the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Polaris.
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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