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Should You Be Adding General Capital (NZSE:GEN) To Your Watchlist Today?

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 General Capital (NZSE:GEN). 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.

View our latest analysis for General Capital

General Capital's Improving Profits

In a capitalist society capital chases profits, and that means share prices tend rise with earnings per share (EPS). So like a ray of sunshine through a gap in the clouds, improving EPS is considered a good sign. It is therefore awe-striking that General Capital's EPS went from NZ$0.00091 to NZ$0.0028 in just one year. When you see earnings grow that quickly, it often means good things ahead for the company. But the key is discerning whether something profound has changed, or if this is a just a one-off boost.

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. I note that General Capital's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. General Capital maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 42% to NZ$6.0m. 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.

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

Since General Capital is no giant, with a market capitalization of NZ$9.1m, so you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.

Are General Capital 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 under NZ$292m, like General Capital, the median CEO pay is around NZ$525k.

The General Capital CEO received total compensation of just NZ$209k 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 good governance, more generally.

Should You Add General Capital To Your Watchlist?

General Capital'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. At the same time the reasonable CEO compensation reflects well on the board of directors. So General Capital looks like it could be a good quality growth stock, at first glance. That's worth watching. We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 3 warning signs for General Capital (1 shouldn't be ignored!) that you need to be mindful of.

You can invest in 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.