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. 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. A loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the inflow of external capital may dry up.
In contrast to all that, many investors prefer to focus on companies like Visa (NYSE:V), which has not only revenues, but also profits. While this doesn't necessarily speak to whether it's undervalued, the profitability of the business is enough to warrant some appreciation - especially if its growing.
How Quickly Is Visa Increasing Earnings Per Share?
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. So it makes sense that experienced investors pay close attention to company EPS when undertaking investment research. Visa managed to grow EPS by 9.6% per year, over three years. That's a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.
Top-line growth is a great indicator that growth is sustainable, and combined with a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin, it's a great way for a company to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. While we note Visa achieved similar EBIT margins to last year, revenue grew by a solid 18% to US$30b. That's encouraging news for the company!
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.
The trick, as an investor, is to find companies that are going to perform well in the future, not just in the past. While crystal balls don't exist, you can check our visualization of consensus analyst forecasts for Visa's future EPS 100% free.
Are Visa Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Owing to the size of Visa, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a significant proportion of the company. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Notably, they have an enviable stake in the company, worth US$236m. This comes in at 0.05% of shares in the company, which is a fair amount of a business of this size. This should still be a great incentive for management to maximise shareholder value.
Does Visa Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
One important encouraging feature of Visa is that it is growing profits. If that's not enough on its own, there is also the rather notable levels of insider ownership. These two factors are a huge highlight for the company which should be a strong contender your watchlists. It's still necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Visa , and understanding it should be part of your investment process.
The beauty of investing is that you can invest in almost any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here