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Here's Why We Think Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) Might Deserve Your Attention Today

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. Unfortunately, these high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson. Loss making companies can act like a sponge for capital - so investors should be cautious that they're not throwing good money after bad.

In contrast to all that, many investors prefer to focus on companies like Associated British Foods (LON:ABF), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.

View our latest analysis for Associated British Foods

Associated British Foods' Earnings Per Share Are Growing

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. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Associated British Foods' shareholders have have plenty to be happy about as their annual EPS growth for the last 3 years was 46%. Growth that fast may well be fleeting, but it should be more than enough to pique the interest of the wary stock pickers.

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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. Associated British Foods maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 6.8% to UK£20b. That's a real positive.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

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

Fortunately, we've got access to analyst forecasts of Associated British Foods' future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.

Are Associated British Foods Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since Associated British Foods has a market capitalisation of UK£20b, 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 UK£120m. We note that this amounts to 0.6% of the company, which may be small owing to the sheer size of Associated British Foods but it's still worth mentioning. So despite their percentage holding being low, company management still have plenty of reasons to deliver the best outcomes for investors.

Is Associated British Foods Worth Keeping An Eye On?

Associated British Foods' earnings per share have been soaring, with growth rates sky high. 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 based on this quick analysis, we do think it's worth considering Associated British Foods for a spot on your watchlist. Of course, just because Associated British Foods is growing does not mean it is undervalued. If you're wondering about the valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

While opting for stocks without growing earnings and absent insider buying can yield results, for investors valuing these key metrics, here is a carefully selected list of companies in GB with promising growth potential and insider confidence.

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.