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Here's Why We Think Beiersdorf (ETR:BEI) Is Well Worth Watching

Simply Wall St

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. 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 Beiersdorf (ETR:BEI). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

See our latest analysis for Beiersdorf

How Fast Is Beiersdorf Growing Its Earnings Per Share?

Even modest earnings per share growth (EPS) can create meaningful value, when it is sustained reliably from year to year. So it's no surprise that some investors are more inclined to invest in profitable businesses. Over twelve months, Beiersdorf increased its EPS from €3.01 to €3.26. That amounts to a small improvement of 8.2%.

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). Beiersdorf maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 4.2% to €7.5b. That's a real positive.

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.

XTRA:BEI Income Statement, December 30th 2019
XTRA:BEI Income Statement, December 30th 2019

The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. To that end, right now and today, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for future Beiersdorf EPS 100% free.

Are Beiersdorf 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 over €7.2b, like Beiersdorf, the median CEO pay is around €4.2m.

Beiersdorf offered total compensation worth €3.0m to its CEO in the year to December 2018. That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Should You Add Beiersdorf To Your Watchlist?

One important encouraging feature of Beiersdorf is that it is growing profits. Not only that, but the CEO is paid quite reasonably, which makes me feel more trusting of the board of directors. So I do think the stock deserves further research, if not instant addition to your watchlist. Of course, identifying quality businesses is only half the battle; investors need to know whether the stock is undervalued. So you might want to consider this free discounted cashflow valuation of Beiersdorf.

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

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.