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. Unfortunately, these high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, so investors in these companies may be taking on more risk than they should.
In contrast to all that, many investors prefer to focus on companies like Advantage Energy (TSE:AAV), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Now this is not to say that the company presents the best investment opportunity around, but profitability is a key component to success in business.
Advantage Energy's Improving Profits
In business, profits are a key measure of success; and share prices tend to reflect earnings per share (EPS) performance. So a growing EPS generally brings attention to a company in the eyes of prospective investors. It is awe-striking that Advantage Energy's EPS went from CA$0.058 to CA$3.10 in just one year. While it's difficult to sustain growth at that level, it bodes well for the company's outlook for the future. Could this be a sign that the business has reached an inflection point?
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. Advantage Energy shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 11% to 61%, 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. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
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 Advantage Energy.
Are Advantage Energy Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
It should give investors a sense of security owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, creating a close alignment their interests. Shareholders will be pleased by the fact that insiders own Advantage Energy shares worth a considerable sum. To be specific, they have CA$58m worth of shares. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. While their ownership only accounts for 2.8%, this is still a considerable amount at stake to encourage the business to maintain a strategy that will deliver value to shareholders.
While it's always good to see some strong conviction in the company from insiders through heavy investment, it's also important for shareholders to ask if management compensation policies are 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 Advantage Energy, with market caps between CA$1.3b and CA$4.1b, is around CA$2.8m.
Advantage Energy's CEO took home a total compensation package worth CA$2.2m in the year leading up to December 2021. That is actually below the median for CEO's of similarly sized companies. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when it's reasonable, that gives a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. Generally, arguments can be made that reasonable pay levels attest to good decision-making.
Should You Add Advantage Energy To Your Watchlist?
Advantage Energy's earnings per share growth have been climbing higher at an appreciable rate. The cherry on top is that insiders own a bucket-load of shares, and the CEO pay seems really quite reasonable. The strong EPS improvement suggests the businesses is humming along. Big growth can make big winners, so the writing on the wall tells us that Advantage Energy is worth considering carefully. You should always think about risks though. Case in point, we've spotted 2 warning signs for Advantage Energy you should be aware of, and 1 of them doesn't sit too well with us.
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.
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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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