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I Ran A Stock Scan For Earnings Growth And Costamare (NYSE:CMRE) Passed With Ease

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·3-min read
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Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Costamare (NYSE:CMRE). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.

View our latest analysis for Costamare

Costamare's Improving Profits

In a capitalist society capital chases profits, and that means share prices tend rise with earnings per share (EPS). So like a ray of sunshine through a gap in the clouds, improving EPS is considered a good sign. It is therefore awe-striking that Costamare's EPS went from US$0.11 to US$3.69 in just one year. Even though that growth rate is unlikely to be repeated, that looks like a breakout improvement. But the key is discerning whether something profound has changed, or if this is a just a one-off boost.

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. Costamare shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 39% to 50%, and revenue is growing. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

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

The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. To that end, right now and today, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for future Costamare EPS 100% free.

Are Costamare Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Personally, I like to see high insider ownership of a company, since it suggests that it will be managed in the interests of shareholders. So as you can imagine, the fact that Costamare insiders own a significant number of shares certainly appeals to me. In fact, they own 53% of the company, so they will share in the same delights and challenges experienced by the ordinary shareholders. To me this is a good sign because it suggests they will be incentivised to build value for shareholders over the long term. And their holding is extremely valuable at the current share price, totalling US$913m. That means they have plenty of their own capital riding on the performance of the business!

Is Costamare Worth Keeping An Eye On?

Costamare's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders certainly brightens my view of the company. At times fast EPS growth is a sign the business has reached an inflection point; and I do like those. So yes, on this short analysis I do think it's worth considering Costamare for a spot on your watchlist. It's still necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with Costamare (at least 1 which is potentially serious) , and understanding these should be part of your investment process.

You can invest in any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies 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.

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

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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