Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase ‘the next big thing’, even if that means buying ‘story stocks’ without revenue, let alone 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 the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Australian Ethical Investment (ASX:AEF). While profit is not necessarily a social good, it’s easy to admire a business that can consistently produce it. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.
How Quickly Is Australian Ethical Investment Increasing Earnings Per Share?
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. I, for one, am blown away by the fact that Australian Ethical Investment has grown EPS by 47% per year, over the last three years. While that sort of growth rate isn’t sustainable for long, it certainly catches my attention; like a crow with a sparkly stone.
One way to double-check a company’s growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. The good news is that Australian Ethical Investment is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 4.3 percentage points to 29%, 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. For finer detail, click on the image.
While profitability drives the upside, prudent investors always check the balance sheet, too.
Are Australian Ethical Investment 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 Australian Ethical Investment insiders have a significant amount of capital invested in the stock. With a whopping AU$121m worth of shares as a group, insiders have plenty riding on the company’s success. That holding amounts to 25% of the stock on issue, thus making insiders influential, and aligned, owners of the business.
It’s good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Australian Ethical Investment with market caps between AU$284m and AU$1.1b is about AU$1.0m.
The Australian Ethical Investment CEO received total compensation of just AU$482k in the year to . 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. It can also be a sign of good governance, more generally.
Is Australian Ethical Investment Worth Keeping An Eye On?
Australian Ethical Investment’s earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. The cherry on top is that insiders own a bucket-load of shares, and the CEO pay seems really quite reasonable. The sharp increase in earnings could signal good business momentum. Big growth can make big winners, so I do think Australian Ethical Investment is worth considering carefully. It’s still necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 1 warning sign with Australian Ethical Investment , and understanding this should be part of your investment process.
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.
Outlook 2021 – Future investment opportunities: green hydrogen – Investors' Corner BNP Paribas
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Any views expressed here are those of the author as of the date of publication, are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may take different investment decisions for different clients. The views expressed in this podcast do not in any way constitute investment advice.
The value of investments and the income they generate may go down as well as up and it is possible that investors will not recover their initial outlay. Past performance is no guarantee for future returns.
Investing in emerging markets, or specialised or restricted sectors is likely to be subject to a higher-than-average volatility due to a high degree of concentration, greater uncertainty because less information is available, there is less liquidity or due to greater sensitivity to changes in market conditions (social, political and economic conditions).
Some emerging markets offer less security than the majority of international developed markets. For this reason, services for portfolio transactions, liquidation and conservation on behalf of funds invested in emerging markets may carry greater risk.
Sandpiper Increases Investment in Artis REIT to 10% – Canada NewsWire
VANCOUVER, BC, Dec. 2, 2020 /CNW/ – Sandpiper Group (“Sandpiper”) announced today that on December 2, 2020, it acquired, through Sandpiper Real Estate Fund 4 Limited Partnership (the “Fund“), an aggregate of 100,000 units (“Units”) of Artis Real Estate Investment Trust (“Artis” or the “REIT”) (TSX: AX.UN) in the open market through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange at an average price of $11.10 per Unit or $1,110,000 in the aggregate (the “Acquisition”).
As a result of the Acquisition, Sandpiper owns and exercises control and direction over an aggregate of 13,612,584 Units, representing approximately 10.07% of the 135,221,252 Units issued and outstanding as reported in Artis’ Monthly Cash Distribution Announcement dated November 16, 2020. Prior to the Acquisition, Sandpiper owned and exercised control and direction over 13,512,584 Units, representing approximately 9.99% of the issued and outstanding Units.
The Units were acquired for investment purposes. Sandpiper believes that the Units of Artis are undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity.
“Our increase in our ownership in Artis further confirms our long term commitment in this investment,” said Samir Manji, CEO of Sandpiper. “We believe Artis has significant near term and longer term potential with an attractive, undervalued asset base. We look forward to working with the trustees and management at Artis to identify avenues and opportunities that will maximize value for all unitholders.”
Sandpiper and its affiliates may, from time to time, depending on market and other conditions, increase or decrease its beneficial ownership, control or direction over the securities of Artis through market transactions, private agreements, or otherwise.
Artis’s head office is located at Suite 600 – 220 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 0A5
Sandpiper’s head office is located at Suite 1670, 200 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3L6.
An early warning report will be filed by Sandpiper in accordance with applicable securities laws. For further information and to obtain a copy of the early warning report filed by Sandpiper, please contact Alyssa Barry, Vice President, Capital Markets and Communications, Sandpiper at (604) 558-4885.
ABOUT SANDPIPER GROUP
Sandpiper is a Vancouver-based private equity firm focused on investing in real estate through direct property investments and public securities. For more information about Sandpiper, visit www.sandpipergroup.ca.
SOURCE Sandpiper Group
For further information: Alyssa Barry, Vice President, Capital Markets and Communications, Sandpiper Group, Phone: 604-558-4885, Email: [email protected]
"Tectonic forces" could cause economic upheaval: Poloz – Investment Executive
This could lead to many different inflationary scenarios from a return to the 2% inflation target to an inflation outbreak, or to stagflation or deflation.
“Personally, I would not weight them equally, but I would attach a meaningful weight to each of them and suggest that [investors] think about ways to preserve [their] capital should any of them arise,” said Poloz who is a special advisor with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.
“We should not fall in love with the high probability scenario where inflation just returns to 2% and remains there.”
One driver of high interest rates in recent decades was the population surge of the post-war baby boom. As this generation now moves into retirement, Poloz believes that the high real interest rates of the past “were an aberration” and should not be expected to return.
While there is an expectation for interest rates to normalize along with inflation targets, Poloz notes there is growing concern that inflation could get out of control as governments borrow a “staggering amount of money.”
The former central banker said that today’s central banks are well-equipped to keep inflation in check via monetary policy.
However, three of the tectonic shifts mentioned could disrupt central banks in their policy goals: growing indebtedness, technological progress and rising inequality.
Global indebtedness was on the rise long before Covid-19 hit, said Poloz.
As a result of monetary and fiscal policies that have prevented recessions, individuals and companies are not retrenching and rebalancing their finances as they might have done in the past. From an investor point of view, this leads to the danger of “zombie firms” that are not “washed out of the system” as they might have been.
In the case of technology, progress generally means more efficiency and lower costs for companies over the long-term, said Poloz. But, that same progress can have serious economic consequences in the short term in the form of economic depressions and disruption.
The world is currently experiencing a fourth industrial revolution as the economy becomes digitized through artificial intelligence — which is leading to fears within workforces that a few large firms will scoop up all the economic benefits, leading to growing income inequality.
“People believe and expect that economic growth is like yeast, it spreads everywhere, so everybody benefits,” said Poloz. “But the reality is more like mushrooms that pop up here and there and single firms can reap most of the benefits.”
Climate change is also having a seismic effect on the economy as more companies try to shift their businesses to environmentally-friendly processes. The problem, noted Poloz, is “markets are really bad at distinguishing between shades of green. They’re essentially only able to tell the difference between green and not-green.”
Firms will have to move towards “full carbon transparency,” which will require significant investments in analytics or consultancy work. And, “firms who invest in this early deserve your attention,” said Poloz.
With these forces in play, “volatility beyond the norm is now a given,” said Poloz. A firm’s risk management for these factors will be key to creating shareholder value and will likely be “the next channel of intangible investment.”
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