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 the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE). 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.
How Fast Is World Wrestling Entertainment Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
In the last three years World Wrestling Entertainment’s earnings per share took off like a rocket; fast, and from a low base. So the actual rate of growth doesn’t tell us much. Thus, it makes sense to focus on more recent growth rates, instead. Like a wedge-tailed eagle on the wind, World Wrestling Entertainment’s EPS soared from US$0.98 to US$1.43, in just one year. That’s a impressive gain of 46%.
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 World Wrestling Entertainment is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 6.8 percentage points to 17%, over the last year. That’s great to see, on both counts.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
You don’t drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for World Wrestling Entertainment’s future profits.
Are World Wrestling Entertainment Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Many consider high insider ownership to be a strong sign of alignment between the leaders of a company and the ordinary shareholders. So we’re pleased to report that World Wrestling Entertainment insiders own a meaningful share of the business. In fact, they own 41% of the shares, making insiders a very influential shareholder group. I’m reassured by this kind of alignment, as it suggests the business will be run for the benefit of shareholders. At the current share price, that insider holding is worth a whopping US$1.4b. Now that’s what I call some serious skin in the game!
It’s good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? Well, based on the CEO pay, I’d say they are indeed. For companies with market capitalizations between US$2.0b and US$6.4b, like World Wrestling Entertainment, the median CEO pay is around US$5.8m.
The World Wrestling Entertainment CEO received US$3.5m 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.
Is World Wrestling Entertainment Worth Keeping An Eye On?
For growth investors like me, World Wrestling Entertainment’s raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. If you need more convincing beyond that EPS growth rate, don’t forget about the reasonable remuneration and the high insider ownership. This may only be a fast rundown, but the takeaway for me is that World Wrestling Entertainment is worth keeping an eye on. You still need to take note of risks, for example – World Wrestling Entertainment has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
Although World Wrestling Entertainment 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. 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. Thank you for reading.