Benjamin Graham taught that Intelligent Investors must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine their intrinsic value and inherent risk. 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 company. 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 Equifax fares in theÂ ModernGraham valuation model.
Company ProfileÂ (obtained fromÂ Google Finance):Â Equifax Inc. is a provider of information solutions for businesses and consumers. The Companyâ€™s clients and customers include financial institutions, corporations, governments and individuals. Its products and services are based on databases of consumer and business information derived from various types of credit, financial, employment, income, public record, demographic and marketing data. The Company operates in five segments: U.S. Consumer Information Solutions (USCIS), International, Equifax Workforce Solutions, North America Personal Solutions and North America Commercial Solutions. It also provides human resources business process outsourcing services. On February 6, 2013, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc acquired Equifax Settlement Services Holding, LLC from the Company. In July 2013, Equifax Inc. announced it has acquired TrustedID. In January 2014, Equifax Inc announced the acquisition of TDX Group.
Defensive Investor – must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 3/7
- 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 – 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
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$32.37|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$18.98|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||11.23%|
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$13.05|
Balance Sheet – 12/31/2013
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham
Equifax Inc. does not qualify for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor. Â For the Defensive Investor, the company’s current ratio is too low, it has not demonstrated sufficient earnings growth over the ten year period, and its PEmg and PB ratios are too high. Â For the Enterprising Investor, the company holds too much debt relative to its current assets. Â As a result, value investors seeking to follow the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should explore other opportunities through a review of 5 Outstanding Dow Components and 5 Low PEmg Companies for the Defensive Investor. Â From a valuation side of things, the company appears to be overvalued after only growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.98 in 2009 to $2.23 in 2013. Â This low level of demonstrated growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 11.23% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model to return an estimate of intrinsic value that falls below a margin of safety relative to 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 Equifax Inc. (EFX)? Â Where do you see the company going in the future? Â Is there a company you like better? Â Leave aÂ 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 Equifax Inc. (EFX) or any other company mentioned in the article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.
Logo taken from wikipedia; this article is not affiliated with the company in any manner.