It's only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in 'sexy' stocks with a good story, even if those businesses lose money. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Northland Power (TSE:NPI). 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. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.
Northland Power'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. Over the last three years, Northland Power has grown EPS by 16% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.
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. While we note Northland Power's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 22% to CA$1.9b. That's a real positive.
You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. For finer detail, click on the image.
In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Northland Power's forecast profits?
Are Northland Power Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a CA$8.7b company like Northland Power. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. Notably, they have an enormous stake in the company, worth CA$508m. I would find that kind of skin in the game quite encouraging, if I owned shares, since it would ensure that the leaders of the company would also experience my success, or failure, with the stock.
It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. For companies with market capitalizations between CA$5.3b and CA$16b, like Northland Power, the median CEO pay is around CA$5.8m.
The CEO of Northland Power only received CA$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 remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. I'd also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.
Is Northland Power Worth Keeping An Eye On?
One important encouraging feature of Northland Power is that it is growing profits. Earnings growth might be the main game for Northland Power, but the fun does not stop there. With a meaningful level of insider ownership, and reasonable CEO pay, a reasonable mind might conclude that this is one stock worth watching. Don't forget that there may still be risks. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Northland Power (1 is significant) you should be aware of.
Although Northland Power 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.
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.
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