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 10 Most Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor – October 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 Loews Corporation (L) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Loews Corporation is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in commercial property and casualty insurance; operation of offshore oil and gas drilling rigs; transportation and storage of natural gas and natural gas liquids and gathering and processing of natural gas, and operation of a chain of hotels. The Company’s subsidiaries include CNA Financial Corporation (CNA); Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (Diamond Offshore); Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (Boardwalk Pipeline), and Loews Hotels Holding Corporation (Loews Hotels). CNA’s insurance products primarily include commercial property and casualty coverages, including surety. Diamond Offshore is engaged in the business of operating drilling rigs. Boardwalk Pipeline is engaged in natural gas and natural gas liquids transportation and storage and natural gas gathering and processing. The subsidiaries of Loews Hotels Holding Corporation operate a chain of 21 hotels.
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Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:
Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?
|Defensive Investor; must pass all 6 of the following tests.|
|1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise||Market Cap > $2Bil||$13,528,418,391||Pass|
|2. Earnings Stability||Positive EPS for 10 years prior||Pass|
|3. Dividend Record||Dividend Payments for 10 years prior||Pass|
|4. Earnings Growth||Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end||-68.33%||Fail|
|5. Moderate PEmg Ratio||PEmg < 20||20.76||Fail|
|6. Moderate Price to Assets||PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50||0.73||Pass|
|Enterprising Investor; must pass all 3 of the following tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.|
|1. Earnings Stability||Positive EPS for 5 years prior||Pass|
|2. Dividend Record||Currently Pays Dividend||Pass|
|3. Earnings Growth||EPSmg greater than 5 years ago||Fail|
Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value
|MG Growth Estimate||-4.25%|
|MG Value based on 3% Growth||$26.02|
|MG Value based on 0% Growth||$15.25|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||6.13%|
|% of Intrinsic Value||N/A|
Loews Corporation does not qualify for either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the insufficient earnings growth over the last ten years, and the high PEmg ratio. The Enterprising Investor is concerned by the lack of earnings growth over the last five years. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should explore other opportunities at this time or proceed with a cautious speculative attitude.
As for a valuation, the company appears to be overvalued after seeing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) decline from $3.40 in 2011 to an estimated $1.79 for 2015. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 6.13% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, returns 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 Loews Corporation (L)? 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.
Stage 3: Information for Further Research
|Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth||1|
|ModernGraham tagged articles||Morningstar|
|Google Finance||MSN Money|
|Yahoo Finance||Seeking Alpha|
Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures
|Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average)||369,970,000|
Earnings Per Share History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$2.13|
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$1.79|
Other ModernGraham posts about the company
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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. See my current holdings here. This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions. ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner. Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.