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. Sometimes these stories can cloud the minds of investors, leading them to invest with their emotions rather than on the merit of good company fundamentals. A loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the inflow of external capital may dry up.
In contrast to all that, many investors prefer to focus on companies like Ashtead Technology Holdings (LON:AT.), which has not only revenues, but also profits. 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.
Ashtead Technology Holdings’ Improving Profits
Even modest earnings per share growth (EPS) can create meaningful value, when it is sustained reliably from year to year. So EPS growth can certainly encourage an investor to take note of a stock. Commendations have to be given in seeing that Ashtead Technology Holdings grew its EPS from UK£0.01 to UK£0.089, in one short year. While it’s difficult to sustain growth at that level, it bodes well for the company’s outlook for the future. But the key is discerning whether something profound has changed, or if this is a just a one-off boost.
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. The music to the ears of Ashtead Technology Holdings shareholders is that EBIT margins have grown from 3.7% to 17% in the last 12 months and revenues are on an upwards trend as well. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in our book.
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.
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 Ashtead Technology Holdings.
Are Ashtead Technology Holdings Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
As a general rule, it’s worth considering how much the CEO is paid, since unreasonably high rates could be considered against the interests of shareholders. For companies with market capitalisations between UK£84m and UK£337m, like Ashtead Technology Holdings, the median CEO pay is around UK£629k.
The Ashtead Technology Holdings CEO received UK£320k in compensation for the year ending December 2021. That seems pretty reasonable, especially given it’s below the median for similar sized companies. 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 a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.
Is Ashtead Technology Holdings Worth Keeping An Eye On?
Ashtead Technology Holdings’ earnings per share growth have been climbing higher at an appreciable rate. Such fast EPS growth prompts the question: has the business reached an inflection point? Meanwhile, the very reasonable CEO pay is a great reassurance, since it points to an absence of wasteful spending habits. So faced with these facts, it seems that researching this stock a little more may lead you to discover an investment opportunity that meets your quality standards. Now, you could try to make up your mind on Ashtead Technology Holdings 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 beauty of investing is that you can invest in almost 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.
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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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