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. 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 are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, so investors in these companies may be taking on more risk than they should.
Despite being in the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, many investors still adopt a more traditional strategy; buying shares in profitable companies like Kroger (NYSE:KR). While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.
Kroger's Earnings Per Share Are Growing
The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so you'd expect share price to follow earnings per share (EPS) outcomes eventually. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. It certainly is nice to see that Kroger has managed to grow EPS by 18% per year over three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we'd expect shareholders to come away satisfied.
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. While we note Kroger achieved similar EBIT margins to last year, revenue grew by a solid 8.1% to US$146b. That's a real positive.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. 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. While crystal balls don't exist, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for Kroger's future EPS 100% free.
Are Kroger Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$34b company like Kroger. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Indeed, they have a considerable amount of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$287m. We note that this amounts to 0.8% of the company, which may be small owing to the sheer size of Kroger but it's still worth mentioning. This still shows shareholders there is a degree of alignment between management and themselves.
Should You Add Kroger To Your Watchlist?
If you believe that share price follows earnings per share you should definitely be delving further into Kroger's strong EPS growth. With EPS growth rates like that, it's hardly surprising to see company higher-ups place confidence in the company through continuing to hold a significant investment. Fast growth and confident insiders should be enough to warrant further research, so it would seem that it's a good stock to follow. Don't forget that there may still be risks. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Kroger that you should be aware of.
There's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you to check out companies that do have those features. You can access a free list of them here.
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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