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 – March 2015. 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 Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Xcel Energy Inc. is a public utility holding company. The Company’s operations include the activity of four wholly owned utility subsidiaries that serve electric and natural gas customers in eight states. These utility subsidiaries are NSP-Minnesota, NSP-Wisconsin, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo) and Southwestern Public Service Co. (SPS), and serve customers in portions of Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin. The Company has two segments. The regulated electric utility segment generates, transmits and distributes electricity in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico. In addition, this segment includes sales for resale and provides wholesale transmission service to various entities in the United States. The regulated natural gas utility segment transports, stores and distributes natural gas in portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Michigan and Colorado.
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
|MG Opinion||Fairly Valued|
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$27.45|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$16.09|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||4.66%|
Balance Sheet – December 2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham
Xcel Energy Inc. is suitable for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor’s only concern is the low current ratio. The Enterprising Investor is concerned with the level of debt relative to the current assets but is willing to overlook those concerns since the company qualifies for the more conservative Defensive Investor. As a result, all value 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. From a valuation side of things, the company appears to be fairly valued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.50 in 2010 to $1.89 for 2014. This level of demonstrated growth supports the market’s implied estimate of 4.66% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value within a margin of safety relative to the price.
Be sure to check out previous ModernGraham valuations of Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL) 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 Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL)? 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 Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL) 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.