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5 Undervalued Companies to Research with a Low Beta – March 2015

imageThere are a number of great companies in the market today. By using the ModernGraham Valuation Model, I’ve selected the five undervalued companies reviewed by ModernGraham with the lowest beta.  A company’s beta indicates the correlation at which its price moves in relation to the market.  A beta less than 1 indicates a company is less volatile than the market.  Each company has been determined to be suitable for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor according to the ModernGraham approach. This is a sample of one screen that is included in ModernGraham Stocks & Screens.  Defensive Investors are defined as investors who are not able or willing to do substantial research into individual investments, and therefore need to select only the companies that present the least amount of risk. Enterprising Investors, on the other hand, are able to do substantial research and can select companies that present a moderate (though still low) amount of risk.

With a low beta, Mr. Market may not hit these companies as harshly in a downturn, so be sure to check them out in depth!  If you’re interested in companies with a high beta instead, check out 5 Undervalued Companies with a High Beta – December 2014!

Petsmart Inc. (PETM)

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Petsmart Inc. is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor.  The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, along with the high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns.  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 $1.75 in 2011 to an estimated $3.71 for 2015.  This level of demonstrated growth is greater than the market’s implied estimate of 6.75% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.  (See the full valuation)

Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN)

220px-Tyson_Foods_logo.svgTyson Foods Inc. qualifies for the Enterprising Investor but not for the Defensive Investor.  The Defensive Investor is concerned by the low current ratio, and the insufficient earnings stability over the last ten years.  The Enterprising Investor is only concerned by the high 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 $0.40 in 2010 to $2.07 for 2014.  This level of demonstrated growth is greater than the market’s implied estimate of 5.46% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.  (See the full valuation)

M&T Bank Corporation (MTB)

MTBM&T Bank Corporation qualifies for the Enterprising Investor but not the Defensive Investor.  The Defensive Investor is concerned by the insufficient earnings growth over the last ten years, while the company passes all of the Enterprising Investor’s requirements.  As a result, Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel comfortable proceeding with further research into the company and comparing it to other opportunities.  As for a valuation, the company appears undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $4.95 in 2010 to $7.39 for 2014.  This level of demonstrated growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 3.94% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, which is based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the market price.  (See the full valuation)

The TJX Companies (TJX)

tjx_logoTJX Companies performs quite well in the ModernGraham model, and is suitable for Enterprising Investors. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio and the high PEmg and PB ratios, while the Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, Enterprising Investors should feel very comfortable proceeding to the next part of the analysis, which is a determination of the company’s intrinsic value.

When it comes to that valuation, it is critical to consider the company’s earnings history. In this case, the company has grown its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.29 in 2011 to an estimated $2.70 for 2015. This is a very strong level of demonstrated growth which is well above the market’s implied estimate of only 8.44% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. Here, the historical growth in EPSmg over the last five years is around 21.84% per year, which is clearly unsustainable over a long period of time. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model reduces the historical growth to a more conservative figure, assuming that some slowdown will occur. A significant slowdown would have to occur to justify a price as low as the market is demonstrating. Therefore, the model returns an estimate of intrinsic value well above the current price, indicating the company is significantly undervalued at the present time.  (See the full valuation on Seeking Alpha)

B&G Foods Inc. (BGS)

bg-foods-logoB&G Foods Inc. qualifies for the Enterprising Investor but not for the Defensive Investor.  The Defensive Investor is concerned by the small size, low current ratio, short dividend history, and the high PEmg and PB ratios.  The Enterprising Investor is only concerned by the high 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 $0.49 in 2010 to an estimated $1.20 for 2014.  This level of demonstrated growth is greater than the market’s implied estimate of 8.06% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the price. (See the full valuation)

What do you think?  Are these companies a good value for Defensive Investors and Enterprising Investors?  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 any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing those holdings within the next 72 hours.

 

2 thoughts on “5 Undervalued Companies to Research with a Low Beta – March 2015

  1. Can you explain how you calculate the market’s implied
    estimate of growth? If you could give an examplte that would also be helpful.

    1. Tim, the market implied estimate of growth is calculated by using the formula for value, which is: Value = EPSmg x (8.5 + 2g). If you put the current market price in for Value, and solve for g, you get the market implied growth rate.

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