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Should You Be Adding Universal Logistics Holdings (NASDAQ:ULH) To Your Watchlist Today?

The excitement of investing in a company that can reverse its fortunes is a big draw for some speculators, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can manage to find investors. Sometimes these stories can cloud the minds of investors, leading them to invest with their emotions rather than on the merit of good company fundamentals. A loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the inflow of external capital may dry up.

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 Universal Logistics Holdings (NASDAQ:ULH). While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.

View our latest analysis for Universal Logistics Holdings

How Fast Is Universal Logistics Holdings Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

Over the last three years, Universal Logistics Holdings 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. As a result, we'll zoom in on growth over the last year, instead. In impressive fashion, Universal Logistics Holdings' EPS grew from US$2.74 to US$5.76, over the previous 12 months. Year on year growth of 110% is certainly a sight to behold.

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. Universal Logistics Holdings shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 6.2% to 11%, and revenue is growing. That's great to see, on both counts.

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 Universal Logistics Holdings?

Are Universal Logistics Holdings Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It's said that there's no smoke without fire. For investors, insider buying is often the smoke that indicates which stocks could set the market alight. Because often, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.

Despite some Universal Logistics Holdings insiders disposing of some shares, we note that there was US$102k more in buying interest among those who know the company best Although some people may hesitate due to the share sales, the fact that insiders bought more than they sold, is a positive thing to note. It is also worth noting that it was Chairman Matthew Moroun who made the biggest single purchase, worth US$46m, paying US$14.94 per share.

And the insider buying isn't the only sign of alignment between shareholders and the board, since Universal Logistics Holdings insiders own more than a third of the company. In fact, they own 74% of the company, so they will share in the same delights and challenges experienced by the ordinary shareholders. Intuition will tell you this is a good sign because it suggests they will be incentivised to build value for shareholders over the long term. US$710m This is an incredible endorsement from them.

While insiders are apparently happy to hold and accumulate shares, that is just part of the big picture. That's because on our analysis the CEO, Tim Phillips, is paid less than the median for similar sized companies. The median total compensation for CEOs of companies similar in size to Universal Logistics Holdings, with market caps between US$400m and US$1.6b, is around US$3.9m.

The Universal Logistics Holdings CEO received total compensation of just US$1.0m in the year to December 2021. That looks like a modest pay packet, and may hint at a certain respect for the interests of shareholders. While the level of CEO compensation shouldn't be the biggest factor in how the company is viewed, 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 Universal Logistics Holdings To Your Watchlist?

Universal Logistics Holdings' earnings have taken off in quite an impressive fashion. Just as heartening; insiders both own and are buying more stock. This quick rundown suggests that the business may be of good quality, and also at an inflection point, so maybe Universal Logistics Holdings deserves timely attention. However, before you get too excited we've discovered 1 warning sign for Universal Logistics Holdings that you should be aware of.

The good news is that Universal Logistics Holdings is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here's a list of them... 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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