June 18, 2024

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If You Like EPS Growth Then Check Out United Overseas Insurance (SGX:U13) Before It’s Too Late

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. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, ‘Long shots almost never pay off.’

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like United Overseas Insurance (SGX:U13), 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.

View our latest analysis for United Overseas Insurance

United Overseas Insurance’s Earnings Per Share Are 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. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, United Overseas Insurance’s EPS has grown 20% each year, compound, 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.

Careful consideration of revenue growth and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margins can help inform a view on the sustainability of the recent profit growth. I note that United Overseas Insurance’s revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. The good news is that United Overseas Insurance is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 16.7 percentage points to 71%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

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.

SGX:U13 Income Statement, March 19th 2020

Since United Overseas Insurance is no giant, with a market capitalization of S$408m, so you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.

Are United Overseas Insurance Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

I like company leaders to have some skin in the game, so to speak, because it increases alignment of incentives between the people running the business, and its true owners. So it is good to see that United Overseas Insurance insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. Indeed, they hold S$51m worth of its stock. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Those holdings account for over 13% of the company; visible skin in the game.

Should You Add United Overseas Insurance To Your Watchlist?

For growth investors like me, United Overseas Insurance’s raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. I think that EPS growth is something to boast of, and it doesn’t surprise me that insiders are holding on to a considerable chunk of shares. So this is very likely the kind of business that I like to spend time researching, with a view to discerning its true value. What about risks? Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 1 warning sign for United Overseas Insurance you should know about.

Of course, you can do well (sometimes) buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But as a growth investor I always like 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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at [email protected]. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.

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