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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. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?' Leuz et. al. found that it is 'quite common' for investors to lose money by buying into 'pump and dump' schemes.
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in City Holding (NASDAQ:CHCO). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.
How Quickly Is City Holding Increasing Earnings Per Share?
The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so share price follows earnings per share (EPS) eventually. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Over the last three years, City Holding has grown EPS by 8.2% per year. That's a good rate of growth, if it can be sustained.
One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. I note that City Holding's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. While we note City Holding's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 6.7% to US$230m. That's progress.
You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. For finer detail, click on the image.
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 City Holding EPS 100% free.
Are City Holding Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. So it is good to see that City Holding insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. To be specific, they have US$29m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Even though that's only about 2.5% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.
It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like City Holding with market caps between US$400m and US$1.6b is about US$3.9m.
The City Holding CEO received total compensation of just US$1.5m in the year to . That's clearly well below average, so at a glance, that arrangement seems generous to shareholders, and points to a modest remuneration culture. While the level of CEO compensation isn't a huge factor in my view of the company, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.
Does City Holding Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
As I already mentioned, City Holding is a growing business, which is what I like to see. Earnings growth might be the main game for City Holding, but the fun does not stop there. With a meaningful level of insider ownership, and reasonable CEO pay, a reasonable mind might conclude that this is one stock worth watching. Still, you should learn about the 1 warning sign we've spotted with City Holding .
Although City Holding certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.
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.