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I Ran A Stock Scan For Earnings Growth And DRDGOLD (NYSE:DRD) Passed With Ease

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Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone profit. 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 DRDGOLD (NYSE:DRD). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

View our latest analysis for DRDGOLD

How Fast Is DRDGOLD Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

Over the last three years, DRDGOLD has grown earnings per share (EPS) like young bamboo after rain; fast, and from a low base. So I don't think the percent growth rate is particularly meaningful. As a result, I'll zoom in on growth over the last year, instead. Like a firecracker arcing through the night sky, DRDGOLD's EPS shot from R8.25 to R16.84, over the last year. You don't see 104% year-on-year growth like that, very often. The best case scenario? That the business has hit a true inflection point.

I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. The good news is that DRDGOLD is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 13.3 percentage points to 34%, over the last year. That's great to see, on both counts.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

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

While profitability drives the upside, prudent investors always check the balance sheet, too.

Are DRDGOLD Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I always like to check up on CEO compensation, because I think that reasonable pay levels, around or below the median, can be a sign that shareholder interests are well considered. For companies with market capitalizations between R5.8b and R23b, like DRDGOLD, the median CEO pay is around R33m.

The DRDGOLD CEO received R19m in compensation for the year ending . That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. 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 good governance, more generally.

Should You Add DRDGOLD To Your Watchlist?

DRDGOLD's earnings per share growth have been levitating higher, like a mountain goat scaling the Alps. With rocketing profits, its seems likely the business has a rosy future; and it may have hit an inflection point. Meanwhile, the very reasonable CEO pay reassures me a little, since it points to an absence profligacy. So DRDGOLD looks like it could be a good quality growth stock, at first glance. That's worth watching. What about risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for DRDGOLD you should know about.

Of course, you can do well (sometimes) buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But as a growth investor I always like 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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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