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. 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.
Despite being in the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, many investors still adopt a more traditional strategy; buying shares in profitable companies like Armstrong World Industries (NYSE:AWI). 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.
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price should eventually follow. So it makes sense that experienced investors pay close attention to company EPS when undertaking investment research. Recognition must be given to the that Armstrong World Industries has grown EPS by 56% per year, over the last three years. That sort of growth rarely ever lasts long, but it is well worth paying attention to when it happens.
Careful consideration of revenue growth and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margins can help inform a view on the sustainability of the recent profit growth. While we note Armstrong World Industries achieved similar EBIT margins to last year, revenue grew by a solid 7.4% to US$1.3b. That's encouraging news for the company!
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.
In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Armstrong World Industries' forecast profits?
It's pleasing to see company leaders with putting their money on the line, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. Armstrong World Industries followers will find comfort in knowing that insiders have a significant amount of capital that aligns their best interests with the wider shareholder group. As a matter of fact, their holding is valued at US$36m. This considerable investment should help drive long-term value in the business. Even though that's only about 1.1% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.
Armstrong World Industries' earnings per share growth have been climbing higher at an appreciable rate. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders should certainly brighten the view of the company. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So based on this quick analysis, we do think it's worth considering Armstrong World Industries for a spot on your watchlist. Before you take the next step you should know about the 1 warning sign for Armstrong World Industries that we have uncovered.
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.