Investors are often guided by the idea of discovering 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without any revenue, let alone profit. Unfortunately, these high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else investors will move on and the company will wither away.
So if this idea of high risk and high reward doesn't suit, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL). 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.
How Fast Is Toll Brothers Growing?
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price should eventually follow. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Impressively, Toll Brothers has grown EPS by 24% per year, compound, in the last three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be beaming.
It's often helpful to take a look at earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. The good news is that Toll Brothers is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 2.6 percentage points to 13%, over the last year. That's great to see, on both counts.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. For finer detail, click on the image.
Of course the knack is to find stocks that have their best days in the future, not in the past. You could base your opinion on past performance, of course, but you may also want to check this interactive graph of professional analyst EPS forecasts for Toll Brothers.
Are Toll Brothers Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Since Toll Brothers has a market capitalisation of US$5.1b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But thanks to their investment in the company, it's pleasing to see that there are still incentives to align their actions with the shareholders. Indeed, they have a considerable amount of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$355m. Holders should find this level of insider commitment quite encouraging, since it would ensure that the leaders of the company would also experience their success, or failure, with the stock.
Does Toll Brothers Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
You can't deny that Toll Brothers has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. With EPS growth rates like that, it's hardly surprising to see company higher-ups place confidence in the company through continuing to hold a significant investment. Fast growth and confident insiders should be enough to warrant further research, so it would seem that it's a good stock to follow. Still, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Toll Brothers (including 2 which are a bit unpleasant).
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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