Here’s Why I Think Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) Is An Interesting Stock

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. 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 Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. 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 Thermo Fisher Scientific

How Quickly Is Thermo Fisher Scientific Increasing Earnings Per Share?

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). Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. As a tree reaches steadily for the sky, Thermo Fisher Scientific’s EPS has grown 17% each year, compound, over three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we’d expect shareholders to come away winners.

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). While we note Thermo Fisher Scientific’s EBIT margins were flat over the last year, revenue grew by a solid 5.6% to US$26b. That’s progress.

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 Thermo Fisher Scientific’s forecast profits?

Are Thermo Fisher Scientific Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$184b company like Thermo Fisher Scientific. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at US$345m. I would find that kind of skin in the game quite encouraging, if I owned shares, since it would ensure that the leaders of the company would also experience my success, or failure, with the stock.

Should You Add Thermo Fisher Scientific To Your Watchlist?

For growth investors like me, Thermo Fisher Scientific’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. It’s still necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 2 warning signs with Thermo Fisher Scientific , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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.

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.

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