Benjamin Graham taught that Intelligent Investors must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine their intrinsic value and inherent risk. This is best done by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another company or by reviewing the 5 Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor. By using the ModernGraham method one can review a company’s historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries. What follows is a specific look at how UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UnitedHealth Group) diversified health and well-being company. The Company operates in four segments: UnitedHealthcare, which includes UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement and UnitedHealthcare Community & State; UnitedHealthcare Community & State; OptumHealth; OptumInsight, and OptumRx. The Company operates these businesses across eight markets: integrated care delivery, care management, consumer engagement and support, distribution of benefits and services, health financial services, operational services and support, health care information technology and pharmacy.
Defensive Investor – must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 6/7
- Adequate Size of Enterprise – market capitalization of at least $2 billion – PASS
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition – current ratio greater than 2 – FAIL
- Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 10 straight years – PASS
- Dividend Record – has paid a dividend for at least 10 straight years – PASS
- Earnings Growth – earnings per share has increased by at least 1/3 over the last 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end of period – PASS
- Moderate PEmg ratio – PEmg is less than 20 – PASS
- Moderate Price to Assets – PB ratio is less than 2.5 or PB x PEmg is less than 50 – PASS
Enterprising Investor – must pass at least 4 of the following 5 tests or be suitable for a defensive investor: Score = 3/5
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 1 – current ratio greater than 1.5 – FAIL
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 2 – Debt to Net Current Assets ratio less than 1.1 – FAIL
- Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 5 years – PASS
- Dividend Record – currently pays a dividend – PASS
- Earnings growth – EPSmg greater than 5 years ago – PASS
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$76.03|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$44.57|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||3.53%|
Balance Sheet – 6/30/2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham
UnitedHealth Group is suitable for the Defensive Investor and therefore is also suitable for the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor’s only initial concern is the low current ratio, and the Enterprising Investor is willing to overlook concerns about the level of debt relative to the current assets. As a result, value investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel comfortable proceeding with research into the company and comparing it to other opportunities. As for a valuation, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $3.36 in 2010 to an estimated $5.24 for 2014. This level of demonstrated growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 3.53% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.
Be sure to check out the previous ModernGraham valuations of UnitedHealth Group (UNH) for more perspective!
The next part of the analysis is up to individual investors, and requires discussion of the company’s prospects. What do you think? What value would you put on UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH)? Where do you see the company going in the future? Is there a company you like better? Leave a comment on our Facebook page or mention @ModernGraham on Twitter to discuss.
Disclaimer: The author did not hold a position in UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) or in any other company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours. Logo taken from Wikipedia for the sole purpose of identifying the company; this article is not affiliated with the company in any manner.