For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and 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.
In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Argo Blockchain (LON:ARB). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.
Argo Blockchain'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 Argo Blockchain's EPS went from UK£0.0048 to UK£0.066 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.
I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). The good news is that Argo Blockchain is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 46.9 percentage points to 58%, 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. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
While we live in the present moment at all times, there's no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for Argo Blockchain?
Are Argo Blockchain Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Like the kids in the streets standing up for their beliefs, insider share purchases give me reason to believe in a brighter future. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.
Like a sturdy phalanx Argo Blockchain insiders have stood united by refusing to sell shares over the last year. But the bigger deal is that the Independent Non-Executive Director, Sarah Gow, paid UK£53k to buy shares at an average price of UK£1.32.
Does Argo Blockchain Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
Argo Blockchain's earnings per share have taken off like a rocket aimed right at the moon. Growth investors should find it difficult to look past that strong EPS move. And in fact, it could well signal a fundamental shift in the business economics. If that's the case, you may regret neglecting to put Argo Blockchain on your watchlist. What about risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Argo Blockchain (of which 1 is significant!) you should know about.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. So if you like the sound of Argo Blockchain, 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.
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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.