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. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else investors will move on and the company will wither away.
In contrast to all that, many investors prefer to focus on companies like Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ:CALM), 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.
Cal-Maine Foods' Earnings Per Share Are Growing
If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS) outcomes. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. Impressively, Cal-Maine Foods has grown EPS by 32% per year, compound, in the last three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be beaming.
One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. The music to the ears of Cal-Maine Foods shareholders is that EBIT margins have grown from -1.7% to 7.8% in the last 12 months and revenues are on an upwards trend as well. Both of which are great metrics to check off for potential growth.
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.
Fortunately, we've got access to analyst forecasts of Cal-Maine Foods' future profits. You can do your own forecasts without looking, or you can take a peek at what the professionals are predicting.
Are Cal-Maine Foods Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
It's a necessity that company leaders act in the best interest of shareholders and so insider investment always comes as a reassurance to the market. Cal-Maine Foods followers will find comfort in knowing that insiders have a significant amount of capital that aligns their best interests with the wider shareholder group. Indeed, they hold US$40m worth of its stock. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Even though that's only about 1.5% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.
It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? Well, based on the CEO pay, you'd argue that they are indeed. The median total compensation for CEOs of companies similar in size to Cal-Maine Foods, with market caps between US$2.0b and US$6.4b, is around US$6.6m.
The Cal-Maine Foods CEO received total compensation of just US$1.2m in the year to May 2021. That's clearly well below average, so at a glance that arrangement seems generous to shareholders and points to a modest remuneration culture. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.
Should You Add Cal-Maine Foods To Your Watchlist?
For growth investors, Cal-Maine Foods' raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. If you still have your doubts, remember too that company insiders have a considerable investment aligning themselves with the shareholders and CEO pay is quite modest compared to similarly sized companiess. This may only be a fast rundown, but the key takeaway is that Cal-Maine Foods is worth keeping an eye on. It is worth noting though that we have found 2 warning signs for Cal-Maine Foods (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that you need to take into consideration.
There's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you 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.
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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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