It's common for many investors, especially those who are inexperienced, to buy shares in companies with a good story even if these companies are loss-making. 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 are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, so investors in these companies may be taking on more risk than they should.
So if this idea of high risk and high reward doesn't suit, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Hess (NYSE:HES). While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.
Hess' Improving Profits
In business, profits are a key measure of success; and share prices tend to reflect earnings per share (EPS) performance. So a growing EPS generally brings attention to a company in the eyes of prospective investors. It's an outstanding feat for Hess to have grown EPS from US$1.82 to US$6.86 in just one year. When you see earnings grow that quickly, it often means good things ahead for the company. But the key is discerning whether something profound has changed, or if this is a just a one-off boost.
Careful consideration of revenue growth and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margins can help inform a view on the sustainability of the recent profit growth. The music to the ears of Hess shareholders is that EBIT margins have grown from 26% to 35% 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. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
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 Hess' future profits.
Are Hess Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Since Hess has a market capitalisation of US$44b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Notably, they have an enviable stake in the company, worth US$3.4b. Investors will appreciate management having this amount of skin in the game as it shows their commitment to the company's future.
Does Hess Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
Hess' earnings per share growth have been climbing higher at an appreciable rate. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders should certainly brighten the view of the company. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So at the surface level, Hess is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. You should always think about risks though. Case in point, we've spotted 2 warning signs for Hess you should be aware of.
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.
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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here