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. 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. Loss making companies can act like a sponge for capital - so investors should be cautious that they're not throwing good money after bad.
In contrast to all that, many investors prefer to focus on companies like Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.
Becton Dickinson's Earnings Per Share Are Growing
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price should eventually follow. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. It certainly is nice to see that Becton Dickinson has managed to grow EPS by 17% per year over three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be beaming.
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 Becton Dickinson 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.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
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 Becton Dickinson?
Are Becton Dickinson Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Since Becton Dickinson has a market capitalisation of US$72b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But thanks to their investment in the company, it's pleasing to see that there are still incentives to align their actions with the shareholders. Indeed, they have a considerable amount of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$122m. We note that this amounts to 0.2% of the company, which may be small owing to the sheer size of Becton Dickinson but it's still worth mentioning. This still shows shareholders there is a degree of alignment between management and themselves.
Does Becton Dickinson Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
For growth investors, Becton Dickinson's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. Further, the high level of insider ownership is impressive and suggests that the management appreciates the EPS growth and has faith in Becton Dickinson's continuing strength. On the balance of its merits, solid EPS growth and company insiders who are aligned with the shareholders would indicate a business that is worthy of further research. Still, you should learn about the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Becton Dickinson.
Although Becton Dickinson certainly looks good, it may appeal to more investors if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.
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.
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