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Here's Why We Think Live Oak Bancshares (NASDAQ:LOB) Is Well Worth Watching

Investors are often guided by the idea of discovering 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without any revenue, let alone profit. 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 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 Live Oak Bancshares (NASDAQ:LOB), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Now this is not to say that the company presents the best investment opportunity around, but profitability is a key component to success in business.

Check out our latest analysis for Live Oak Bancshares

How Fast Is Live Oak Bancshares Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

Over the last three years, Live Oak Bancshares has grown earnings per share (EPS) at as impressive rate from a relatively low point, resulting in a three year percentage growth rate that isn't particularly indicative of expected future performance. So it would be better to isolate the growth rate over the last year for our analysis. It's good to see that Live Oak Bancshares' EPS has grown from US$3.97 to US$4.46 over twelve months. This amounts to a 12% gain; a figure that shareholders will be pleased to see.

Top-line growth is a great indicator that growth is sustainable, and combined with a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin, it's a great way for a company to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. Not all of Live Oak Bancshares' revenue this year is revenue from operations, so keep in mind the revenue and margin numbers used in this article might not be the best representation of the underlying business. Live Oak Bancshares maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 34% to US$518m. That's a real positive.

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.

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

While we live in the present moment, there's little doubt that the future matters most in the investment decision process. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Live Oak Bancshares?

Are Live Oak Bancshares Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It's pleasing to see company leaders with putting their money on the line, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. So it is good to see that Live Oak Bancshares insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. We note that their impressive stake in the company is worth US$371m. That equates to 25% of the company, making insiders powerful and aligned with other shareholders. Looking very optimistic for investors.

While it's always good to see some strong conviction in the company from insiders through heavy investment, it's also important for shareholders to ask if management compensation policies are reasonable. Well, based on the CEO pay, you'd argue that they are indeed. For companies with market capitalisations between US$1.0b and US$3.2b, like Live Oak Bancshares, the median CEO pay is around US$5.6m.

Live Oak Bancshares' CEO took home a total compensation package of US$884k in the year prior to December 2021. That looks like a modest pay packet, and may hint at a certain respect for the interests of shareholders. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Does Live Oak Bancshares Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

One important encouraging feature of Live Oak Bancshares is that it is growing profits. Earnings growth might be the main attraction for Live Oak Bancshares, but the fun does not stop there. With company insiders aligning themselves considerably with the company's success and modest CEO compensation, there's no arguments that this is a stock worth looking into. We should say that we've discovered 2 warning signs for Live Oak Bancshares that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

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