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I Built A List Of Growing Companies And Sartorius (ETR:SRT) Made The Cut

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Simply Wall St
·4-min read
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For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. But as Warren Buffett has mused, 'If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.' When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Sartorius (ETR:SRT). 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Sartorius

How Quickly Is Sartorius 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). It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. Sartorius managed to grow EPS by 15% per year, over three years. That's a pretty good rate, if the company can sustain it.

I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. Sartorius maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 16% to €1.9b. That's progress.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. For finer detail, click on the image.

XTRA:SRT Income Statement May 25th 2020
XTRA:SRT Income Statement May 25th 2020

In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Sartorius's forecast profits?

Are Sartorius Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since Sartorius has a market capitalization of €21b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at €5.8b. Coming in at 27% of the business, that holding gives insiders a lot of influence, and plenty of reason to generate value for shareholders. So it might be my imagination, but I do sense the glimmer of an opportunity.

It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. For companies with market capitalizations over €7.3b, like Sartorius, the median CEO pay is around €4.8m.

The CEO of Sartorius only received €2.1m in total compensation for the year ending . That's clearly well below average, so at a glance, that arrangement seems generous to shareholders, and points to a modest remuneration culture. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. I'd also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.

Is Sartorius Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One positive for Sartorius is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. The fact that EPS is growing is a genuine positive for Sartorius, but the pretty picture gets better than that. Boasting both modest CEO pay and considerable insider ownership, I'd argue this one is worthy of the watchlist, at least. We should say that we've discovered 2 warning signs for Sartorius that you should be aware of before investing here.

Although Sartorius certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.

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. 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. Thank you for reading.