Is Now The Time To Put Smiths Group (LON:SMIN) On Your Watchlist?

·3 min read

Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Smiths Group (LON:SMIN). Now, I'm not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can't shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.

View our latest analysis for Smiths Group

Smiths Group's 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). It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. We can see that in the last three years Smiths Group grew its EPS by 10% per year. That's a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.

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. Smiths Group's EBIT margins have actually improved by 2.6 percentage points in the last year, to reach 14%, but, on the flip side, revenue was down 5.6%. That's not ideal.

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.

earnings-and-revenue-history
earnings-and-revenue-history

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 Smiths Group.

Are Smiths Group 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. Because oftentimes, the purchase of stock is a sign that the buyer views it as undervalued. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.

Any way you look at it Smiths Group shareholders can gain quiet confidence from the fact that insiders shelled out UK£193k to buy stock, over the last year. When you contrast that with the complete lack of sales, it's easy for shareholders to brim with joyful expectancy. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by CFO & Director John Shipsey for UK£99k worth of shares, at about UK£14.42 per share.

Should You Add Smiths Group To Your Watchlist?

As I already mentioned, Smiths Group is a growing business, which is what I like to see. Not every business can grow its EPS, but Smiths Group certainly can. The cherry on top is the insider share purchases, which provide an extra impetus to keep and eye on this stock, at the very least. You should always think about risks though. Case in point, we've spotted 2 warning signs for Smiths Group you should be aware of.

As a growth investor I do like to see insider buying. But Smiths Group isn't the only one. You can see a a free list of them here.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting