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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. And in their study titled Who Falls Prey to the Wolf of Wall Street?' Leuz et. al. found that it is 'quite common' for investors to lose money by buying into 'pump and dump' schemes.
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like BOK Financial (NASDAQ:BOKF), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.
How Fast Is BOK Financial Growing?
The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so share price follows earnings per share (EPS) eventually. It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. Over the last three years, BOK Financial has grown EPS by 15% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.
I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). Not all of BOK Financial's revenue this year is revenue from operations, so keep in mind the revenue and margin numbers I've used might not be the best representation of the underlying business. While we note BOK Financial's EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 24% to US$2.0b. That's a real positive.
You can take a look at the company's revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. 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 BOK Financial's forecast profits?
Are BOK Financial Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Personally, I like to see high insider ownership of a company, since it suggests that it will be managed in the interests of shareholders. So we're pleased to report that BOK Financial insiders own a meaningful share of the business. Indeed, with a collective holding of 57%, company insiders are in control and have plenty of capital behind the venture. This makes me think they will be incentivised to plan for the long term - something I like to see. And their holding is extremely valuable at the current share price, totalling US$3.5b. Now that's what I call some serious skin in the game!
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. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like BOK Financial with market caps between US$4.0b and US$12b is about US$6.5m.
The BOK Financial CEO received US$5.5m in compensation for the year ending . That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. 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. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.
Does BOK Financial Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
As I already mentioned, BOK Financial is a growing business, which is what I like to see. Earnings growth might be the main game for BOK Financial, but the fun does not stop there. Boasting both modest CEO pay and considerable insider ownership, I'd argue this one is worthy of the watchlist, at least. It is worth noting though that we have found 2 warning signs for BOK Financial (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that you need to take into consideration.
You can invest in any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies with insider buying in the last three months.
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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