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If EPS Growth Is Important To You, Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) Presents An Opportunity

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 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 Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY). While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.

See our latest analysis for Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly's Earnings Per Share Are Growing

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price should eventually follow. That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. We can see that in the last three years Eli Lilly grew its EPS by 12% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.

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It's often helpful to take a look at earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. It seems Eli Lilly is pretty stable, since revenue and EBIT margins are pretty flat year on year. That's not a major concern but nor does it point to the long term growth we like to see.

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

You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Eli Lilly's future profits.

Are Eli Lilly Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Insider interest in a company always sparks a bit of intrigue and many investors are on the lookout for companies where insiders are putting their money where their mouth is. This view is based on the possibility that stock purchases signal bullishness on behalf of the buyer. Of course, we can never be sure what insiders are thinking, we can only judge their actions.

With strong conviction, Eli Lilly insiders have stood united by refusing to sell shares over the last year. But the real excitement comes from the US$200k that Independent Director Jackson Tai spent buying shares (at an average price of about US$304). Strong buying like that could be a sign of opportunity.

Along with the insider buying, another encouraging sign for Eli Lilly is that insiders, as a group, have a considerable shareholding. We note that their impressive stake in the company is worth US$465m. We note that this amounts to 0.2% of the company, which may be small owing to the sheer size of Eli Lilly but it's still worth mentioning. So despite their percentage holding being low, company management still have plenty of reasons to deliver the best outcomes for investors.

Does Eli Lilly Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

As previously touched on, Eli Lilly is a growing business, which is encouraging. Better yet, insiders are significant shareholders, and have been buying more shares. That makes the company a prime candidate for your watchlist - and arguably a research priority. Even so, be aware that Eli Lilly is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Eli Lilly, you'll probably love this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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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