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 Discover Financial Services Inc. (DFS) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Discover Financial Services (DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company. The Company is a bank holding company, as well as a financial holding company. The Company provides direct banking products and services and payment services through its subsidiaries. The Company manages its business activities in two segments: Direct Banking and Payment Services. Direct Banking segment includes consumer banking and lending products, specifically Discover-branded credit cards issued to individuals and small businesses on the Discover Network and other consumer banking products and services, including private student loans, personal loans, home loans, home equity loans, prepaid cards and other consumer lending and deposit products. The Payment Services segment includes PULSE, Diners Club and the Company’s network partners business, which provides payment transaction processing and settlement services on the Discover Network.
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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||$24,195,581,069||Pass|
|2. Earnings Stability||Positive EPS for 10 years prior||Pass|
|3. Dividend Record||Dividend Payments for 10 years prior||Fail|
|4. Earnings Growth||Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end||198.61%||Pass|
|5. Moderate PEmg Ratio||PEmg < 20||11.57||Pass|
|6. Moderate Price to Assets||PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50||2.17||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||Pass|
Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value
|MG Growth Estimate||14.45%|
|MG Value based on 3% Growth||$70.96|
|MG Value based on 0% Growth||$41.60|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||1.53%|
|% of Intrinsic Value||30.92%|
Discover Financial Services Inc. qualifies for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the short dividend record. The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel comfortable proceeding with further research into the company.
As for a valuation, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $2.49 in 2011 to an estimated $4.89 for 2015. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 1.53% 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 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 Discover Financial Services Inc. (DFS)? 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||5|
|ModernGraham tagged articles||Morningstar|
|Google Finance||MSN Money|
|Yahoo Finance||Seeking Alpha|
Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures
|Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average)||434,000,000|
Earnings Per Share History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$5.19|
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$4.89|
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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.