Do Mueller Water Products’s (NYSE:MWA) Earnings Warrant Your Attention?

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. 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.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in Mueller Water Products (NYSE:MWA). 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 Mueller Water Products

Mueller Water Products’s Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

As one of my mentors once told me, share price follows earnings per share (EPS). That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. Impressively, Mueller Water Products has grown EPS by 17% per year, compound, in the last three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we’d expect shareholders to come away winners.

I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company’s growth. It seems Mueller Water Products is pretty stable, since revenue and EBIT margins are pretty flat year on year. That’s not a major concern but nor does it point to the long term growth we like to see.

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

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 Mueller Water Products’s future profits.

Are Mueller Water Products Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. As a result, I’m encouraged by the fact that insiders own Mueller Water Products shares worth a considerable sum. Indeed, they hold US$24m worth of its stock. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Despite being just 1.4% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

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 Mueller Water Products with market caps between US$1.0b and US$3.2b is about US$4.5m.

Mueller Water Products offered total compensation worth US$3.0m to its CEO in the year to . That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. 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.

Does Mueller Water Products Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

You can’t deny that Mueller Water Products has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That’s attractive. 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 Mueller Water Products is worth keeping an eye on. Don’t forget that there may still be risks. For instance, we’ve identified 1 warning sign for Mueller Water Products that you should be aware of.

Although Mueller Water Products 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.

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