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 Most Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor – December 2014. 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 Olin Corporation (OLN) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Olin Corporation is a manufacturer focused in three business segments: Chlor Alkali Products, Chemical Distribution and Winchester. Chlor Alkali Products manufactures and sells chlorine and caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen, bleach products and potassium hydroxide. Chemical Distribution manufactures bleach products and distributes caustic soda, bleach products, potassium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid. Winchester products include sporting ammunition, reloading components, small caliber military ammunition and components, and industrial cartridges. The Company’s subsidiary, Olin Canada ULC, operates one chlor alkali facility in Becancour, Quebec, which sells chlor alkali-related products within Canada and to the United States and also sells and distributes ammunition within Canada. On August 22, 2012, the Company acquired K. A. Steel Chemicals Inc. (KA Steel). KA Steel is a distributor of caustic soda in North America and manufactures and sells bleach in the Midwest.
Defensive Investor – must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 5/7
- Adequate Size of Enterprise – market capitalization of at least $2 billion – FAIL
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition – current ratio greater than 2 – PASS
- Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 10 straight years – FAIL
- 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 = 4/5
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 1 – current ratio greater than 1.5 – PASS
- 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||$27.19|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$15.94|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||2.47%|
Balance Sheet – September 2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham
Olin Corporation is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the size, and the lack of earnings stability over the last ten years. The Enterprising Investor’s only initial concern is with the level of debt relative to the net current assets. As a result, Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel very comfortable proceeding with further research and comparing the company to other opportunities. As for a valuation, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.27 in 2010 to an estimated $1.88 for 2014. This level of demonstrated growth is greater than the market’s implied estimate of 2.47% 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 previous ModernGraham valuations of Olin Corporation (OLN) for greater 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 Olin Corporation (OLN)? 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 Olin Corporation (OLN) 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.