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 Dollar General Corporation (DG) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Dollar General Corporation is a discount retailer. The Company offers a selection of merchandise, including consumable products such as food, paper and cleaning products, health and beauty products, pet supplies and tobacco products, and non-consumable products such as seasonal merchandise, home decor and domestics, and basic apparel. The Company is focused on serving the needs of the low, low-middle and fixed income consumers. It offers merchandise at everyday low prices (ranging $10 or less) through small-box locations. The Company’s selling space covers, on an average, approximately 7,400 square feet. The Company operates approximately 11,215 retail stores located in 40 states across the United States.
Defensive Investor – must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 2/7
- 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 – FAIL
- Dividend Record – has paid a dividend for at least 10 straight years – FAIL
- 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 – FAIL
- Moderate Price to Assets – PB ratio is less than 2.5 or PB x PEmg is less than 50 – FAIL
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 – 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 – FAIL
- Earnings growth – EPSmg greater than 5 years ago – PASS
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$43.44|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$25.47|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||8.17%|
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$6.51|
Balance Sheet – January 2015
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham
Dollar General does not pay a dividend.
Dollar General Corporation is not suitable for the Enterprising Investor or for the Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned by the low current ratio, insufficient earnings stability over the last ten years, lack of dividends, and the high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor is concerned by the level of debt relative to the net current assets, and the lack of dividends. As a result, value investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should explore other opportunities at this time. From a valuation side of things, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $0.98 in 2011 to $3.00 for 2015. This level of demonstrated growth is greater than the market’s implied estimate of 8.17% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years, leading the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.
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 Dollar General Corporation (DG)? 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 Dollar General Corporation (DG) 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.