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Does Anglo American (LON:AAL) Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

·3-min read

Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone 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.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Anglo American (LON:AAL). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

View our latest analysis for Anglo American

How Quickly Is Anglo American Increasing Earnings Per Share?

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. It certainly is nice to see that Anglo American has managed to grow EPS by 32% per year over three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be smiling.

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. Anglo American shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 18% to 36%, 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.

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

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

Are Anglo American Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Like standing at the lookout, surveying the horizon at sunrise, insider buying, for some investors, sparks joy. This view is based on the possibility that stock purchases signal bullishness on behalf of the buyer. However, small purchases are not always indicative of conviction, and insiders don't always get it right.

It's good to see Anglo American insiders walking the walk, by spending US$153k on shares in just twelve months. And when you consider that there was no insider selling, you can understand why shareholders might believe that lady luck will grace this business. Zooming in, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by James Rutherford for UK£144k worth of shares, at about UK£24.30 per share.

The good news, alongside the insider buying, for Anglo American bulls is that insiders (collectively) have a meaningful investment in the stock. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth US$92m. This suggests to me that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders' interests when making decisions!

Does Anglo American Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

For growth investors like me, Anglo American's raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. On top of that, insiders own a significant stake in the company and have been buying more shares. So it's fair to say I think this stock may well deserve a spot on your watchlist. We should say that we've discovered 3 warning signs for Anglo American (1 is a bit concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

As a growth investor I do like to see insider buying. But Anglo American 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.

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