REITs often attract a great deal of investors because of their strong cash flows and dividends, and those investors often overlook other parts of the business, choosing to analyze the company under a different set of criteria than companies in other sectors. Â This can create a problem in that it becomes difficult to compare a REIT to an industrial, which is fine if you use the typical top-down approach to stock selection; however, a top-down approach invites speculation in the fact that you are theorizing which sector will perform well going forward. Â Benjamin Graham taught that we should avoid speculation as much as possible, which is why it is critical to develop a system for analyzing companies that will allow them to be compared across industries. Â This isÂ best done by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another investment opportunity. Â By using theÂ ModernGraham methodÂ one can review a company’s historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries. Â What follows is a specific look at how Macerich Co. fares in theÂ ModernGraham valuation model.
Company ProfileÂ (obtained fromÂ Google Finance):Â The Macerich Company is a fully integrated self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company focuses on the acquisition, leasing, management, development and redevelopment of regional malls throughout the United States. Macerich focuses on retail properties in California, Arizona, Chicago, Greater New York Metro and Washington, DC. As of September 30, 2013, the Company owned approximately 61 million square feet of real estate consisted of primarily of interests in 58 regional shopping centers. The Companyâ€™s properties include Queens Center, Kings Plaza Shopping Center and Green Acres Mall in New York City.
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 – 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 – 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
|MG Opinion||Fairly Valued|
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$31.28|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$18.34|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||9.81%|
Balance Sheet – 9/30/2013
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share – ModernGrahamÂ
Macerich Co. fares better than most REITs in the ModernGraham approach, and nearly qualifies for the Defensive Investor; however, the company’s PEmg and PB ratios are too high for the investor type. Â The company fails the requirements of the Enterprising Investor due to its high level of debt relative to its current assets. Â Value investors seeking to follow the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should explore other opportunities through a review of 5 Low PEmg Companies for the Defensive Investor or 5 Undervalued Companies for the Enterprising Investor. Â From a valuation perspective, the company seems to be fairly valued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $0.99 in 2008 to $2.16 for 2013. Â This level of growth is in line with the market’s implied estimate for earnings growth of 9.81%, leading the ModernGraham valuation model to return an estimate for intrinsic value that is within a margin of safety of the price.
The next part of the analysis is up to individual investors, and requires discussion of the company’s prospects. Â What do you think? Â What value would you put on Macerich Co. (MAC)? Â Where do you see the company going in the future? Â Is there a company you like better? Â Leave a comment on ourÂ Facebook pageÂ or mentionÂ @ModernGrahamÂ on Twitter to discuss.
If you like our valuations, why not check outÂ ModernGraham Stocks & Screens? Â It’s a great way to review the valuations while screening for things like low PE ratio, undervalued companies, etc.!
Disclaimer: Â The author did not hold a position in Macerich Co. (MAC) or any of the other companies listed in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.
Logo taken from the Wikipedia; this article is not affiliated with the company in any manner.