Do Stanley Black & Decker's (NYSE:SWK) Earnings Warrant Your Attention?

·3 min read

Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it's easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. 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 Stanley Black & Decker

Stanley Black & Decker'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. It certainly is nice to see that Stanley Black & Decker has managed to grow EPS by 17% 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 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). The good news is that Stanley Black & Decker is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 5.4 percentage points to 16%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

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 Stanley Black & Decker's forecast profits?

Are Stanley Black & Decker Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since Stanley Black & Decker has a market capitalization of US$31b, 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. Given insiders own a small fortune of shares, currently valued at US$63m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. That's certainly enough to make me think that management will be very focussed on long term growth.

Is Stanley Black & Decker Worth Keeping An Eye On?

Given my belief that share price follows earnings per share you can easily imagine how I feel about Stanley Black & Decker's strong EPS growth. Further, the high level of insider ownership impresses me, and suggests that I'm not the only one who appreciates the EPS growth. So this is very likely the kind of business that I like to spend time researching, with a view to discerning its true value. You still need to take note of risks, for example - Stanley Black & Decker has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

Although Stanley Black & Decker 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. 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.

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