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 – July 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 stock analysis showing a specific look at how Western Union (WU) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): The Western Union Company (Western Union) is a global provider of money movement and payment services. The Company classifies its businesses into three: Consumer-to-Consumer, Consumer-to-Business and Business Solutions. The Consumer-to-Consumer operating segment facilitates money transfers between two consumers, primarily through a network of third-party agents. The Consumer-to-Business operating segment facilitates bill payments from consumers to businesses and other organizations, including utilities, auto finance companies, mortgage servicers, financial service providers, government agencies and other businesses. The Consumer-to-Business payments services are available through a variety of services that include Speedpay, Pago Facil and Western Union Payments. The Business Solutions operating segment facilitates payment and foreign exchange solutions, primarily cross-border, cross-currency transactions for small and medium size enterprises and other organizations and individuals.
Defensive Investor – must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 4/7
- 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 – FAIL
- 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 – 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 – 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||$22.88|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$13.41|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||2.25%|
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$6.99|
Balance Sheet – March 2015
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham
Western Union Company does not qualify for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, insufficient earnings growth over the last ten years, and the high PB ratio. The Enterprising Investor is concerned by the level of debt relative to the current assets. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should explore other opportunities or proceed with a speculative attitude. As for a valuation, the company appears to be overvalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.46 in 2011 to an estimated $1.58 for 2015. This level of earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 2.25% annual earnings decrease over the next 7-10 years, and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value below 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 Western Union Company (WU)? 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 any 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.