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 Stocks for Using A Benjamin Graham Value Investing Strategy – March 2017. 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 NiSource Inc (NI) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): NiSource Inc. is an energy holding company. The Company is engaged in the distribution of natural gas. The Company operates through two business segments: Gas Distribution Operations and Electric Operations. The Company’s Gas Distribution Operations segment provides natural gas service and transportation for residential, commercial and industrial customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Indiana and Massachusetts. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s Electric Operations segment provided electric services in 20 counties in the northern part of Indiana. The Company’s electric operations segment generated, transmitted and distributed electricity through the Company’s subsidiary NIPSCO to approximately 466,000 customers in 20 counties in the northern part of Indiana and engaged in wholesale and transmission transactions, as of December 31, 2016. NIPSCO owned and operated three coal-fired electric generating stations, as of December 31, 2016.
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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 6 out of the following 7 tests.|
|1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise||Market Cap > $2Bil||$7,623,783,056||Pass|
|2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Current Ratio > 2||0.51||Fail|
|3. Earnings Stability||Positive EPS for 10 years prior||Pass|
|4. Dividend Record||Dividend Payments for 10 years prior||Pass|
|5. Earnings Growth||Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end||46.41%||Pass|
|6. Moderate PEmg Ratio||PEmg < 20||20.03||Fail|
|7. Moderate Price to Assets||PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50||1.86||Pass|
|Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.|
|1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Current Ratio > 1.5||0.51||Fail|
|2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Debt to NCA < 1.1||-3.58||Fail|
|3. Earnings Stability||Positive EPS for 5 years prior||Pass|
|4. Dividend Record||Currently Pays Dividend||Pass|
|5. Earnings Growth||EPSmg greater than 5 years ago||Fail|
Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value
|MG Growth Estimate||-1.83%|
|MG Value based on 3% Growth||$16.94|
|MG Value based on 0% Growth||$9.93|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||5.77%|
|% of Intrinsic Value||414.56%|
NiSource Inc. does not satisfy the requirements of either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, high PEmg ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets, and the lack of earnings growth over the last five years. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should explore other opportunities at this time or proceed cautiously with a speculative attitude.
As for a valuation, the company appears to be Overvalued after seeing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) decline from $1.33 in 2013 to an estimated $1.17 for 2017. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 5.77% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value below the price.
At the time of valuation, further research into NiSource Inc. revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $17.99. The company pays a dividend of $0.64 per share, for a yield of 2.7%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 20.03, which was below the industry average of 23.36, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-39.75.
NiSource Inc. scores quite poorly in the ModernGraham grading system, with an overall grade of D+.
Stage 3: Information for Further Research
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$39.75|
|Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth||0|
|ModernGraham tagged articles||Morningstar|
|Google Finance||MSN Money|
|Yahoo Finance||Seeking Alpha|
Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures
|Balance Sheet Information||12/1/2016|
|Total Current Assets||$1,762,100,000|
|Total Current Liabilities||$3,452,200,000|
|Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average)||323,500,000|
Earnings Per Share History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$1.14|
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$1.17|
Other ModernGraham posts about the company
|NiSource Analysis – 2015 Update $NI|
|NiSource Inc. Annual Valuation – 2014 $NI|
Other ModernGraham posts about related companies
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.