Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone 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 Beacon Roofing Supply (NASDAQ:BECN). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.
How Fast Is Beacon Roofing Supply Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
In business, though not in life, profits are a key measure of success; and share prices tend to reflect earnings per share (EPS). So like the hint of a smile on a face that I love, growing EPS generally makes me look twice. You can imagine, then, that it almost knocked my socks off when I realized that Beacon Roofing Supply grew its EPS from US$1.24 to US$4.05, in one short year. Even though that growth rate is unlikely to be repeated, that looks like a breakout improvement.
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). Beacon Roofing Supply shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 4.5% to 8.1%, and revenue is growing. That's great to see, on both counts.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Beacon Roofing Supply.
Are Beacon Roofing Supply 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. That's because insider buying often indicates that those closest to the company have confidence that the share price will perform well. However, insiders are sometimes wrong, and we don't know the exact thinking behind their acquisitions.
It's good to see Beacon Roofing Supply insiders walking the walk, by spending US$344k on shares in just twelve months. When you contrast that with the complete lack of sales, it's easy for shareholders to brim with joyful expectancy. It is also worth noting that it was President Julian Francis who made the biggest single purchase, worth US$245k, paying US$48.90 per share.
On top of the insider buying, it's good to see that Beacon Roofing Supply insiders have a valuable investment in the business. Indeed, they hold US$29m worth of its stock. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 0.7% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.
While insiders already own a significant amount of shares, and they have been buying more, the good news for ordinary shareholders does not stop there. The cherry on top is that the CEO, Julian Francis is paid comparatively modestly to CEOs at similar sized companies. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Beacon Roofing Supply with market caps between US$2.0b and US$6.4b is about US$6.9m.
Beacon Roofing Supply offered total compensation worth US$5.7m to its CEO in the year to . That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. 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.
Is Beacon Roofing Supply Worth Keeping An Eye On?
Beacon Roofing Supply's earnings per share growth have been levitating higher, like a mountain goat scaling the Alps. Just as heartening; insiders both own and are buying more stock. This quick rundown suggests that the business may be of good quality, and also at an inflection point, so maybe Beacon Roofing Supply deserves timely attention. What about risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Beacon Roofing Supply you should know about.
The good news is that Beacon Roofing Supply is not the only growth stock with insider buying. Here's a list of them... with insider buying in the last three months!
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.