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5 Lowest PEmg Companies for the Defensive Investor

image (6)There are a number of great companies in the market today. By using the ModernGraham Valuation Model, I’ve selected the five lowest PEmg (price / normalized earnings) companies reviewed by ModernGraham. Each company has been determined to be suitable for the Defensive Investor according to the ModernGraham approach. This is a sample of one screen that is included in ModernGraham Stocks & Screens.  Defensive Investors are defined as investors who are not able or willing to do substantial research into individual investments, and therefore need to select only the companies that present the least amount of risk. Enterprising Investors, on the other hand, are able to do substantial research and can select companies that present a moderate (though still low) amount of risk. Defensive Investors may also be interested in reviewing 5 Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor – May 2014 while also conducting further research into the following companies.

Be sure to check out the archive of this screen!

National Presto Industries (NPK)

national-presto-industries_200x200National Presto Industries is a strong company that fares well in terms of the ModernGraham requirements for Defensive Investors and Enterprising Investors.  The company only fails the market cap requirement of the Defensive Investor.  As a result, all value investors seeking to follow the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel comfortable proceeding with further research into the company as well as other opportunities.  From a valuation standpoint, however, the company appears to be overvalued at the current time.  The company has grown EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $6.60 in 2009 to $6.73 in 2013, a very low level of growth that does not support the market’s current implied estimate of 0.83% earnings growth.  The ModernGraham valuation model has accordingly estimated an intrinsic value that falls below a margin of safety in relation to the price. (See the full valuation)
NPK Chart

NPK data by YCharts

Ensco PLC (ESV)

ENSCO_LogoEnsco is suitable for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor.  The Defensive Investor’s only concern is the low current ratio, but the company passes all of the other requirements.  The Enterprising Investor has some concerns, but since the company is suitable for Defensive Investors it is by default also suitable for Enterprising Investors.  As a result, value investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel very comfortable proceeding with further research into the company while keeping in mind the 7 Key Tips to Value Investing.  From a valuation perspective, the company does not fare very well after seeing a drop in EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $6.13 in 2009 to $4.91 for 2013.  This lack of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 1.0% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model to return an estimate of intrinsic value that is well below the market price.  (See the full valuation here)

ESV Chart

ESV data by YCharts

Chevron Corporation (CVX)

500px-Chevron_Logo.svgChevron Corporation remains suitable for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor.  The Defensive Investor’s only issue with the company is the low current ratio, and the Enterprising Investor’s only issue is the high level of debt relative to the company’s current assets.  The company passes every other requirement of the two investor types.  As a result, value investors seeking to follow the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel comfortable proceeding with further research, including a review of ModernGraham’s valuation of Exxon Mobil (XOM), and ModernGraham’s valuation of ConocoPhillips (COP).  From a valuation side of things, the company has grown its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $8.09 in 2009 to $11.58 for 2013.  This is a solid level of growth that outpaces the market’s implied estimate of earnings growth of 1.09%, and the ModernGraham valuation model accordingly returns an estimate of intrinsic value that surpasses the market price by more than our margin of safety.  Therefore, the company appears to be undervalued presently.  (See the full valuation here)

CVX Chart

CVX data by YCharts

AFLAC Incorporated (AFL)

500px-Aflac.svgAflac is suitable for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor, having passed all of the requirements of each investor type.  As a result, value investors seeking to follow the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel very comfortable proceeding with further research into the company.  From a valuation perspective, the company appears strong, having grown its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $3.01 in 2009 to $5.59 for 2013.  This is a level of demonstrated historical growth that significantly outpaces the market’s current implied estimate of only 1.28% earnings growth.  The ModernGraham valuation model accordingly returns an estimate of intrinsic value that is well above a margin of safety when compared to the market price.
AFL Chart

AFL data by YCharts

Unum Group (UNM)

Unum-logoUnum Group is suitable for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor.  The company passes all of the requirements of both investor types, which is a rare accomplishment.  As a result, value investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel comfortable proceeding with further research into the company and comparing the company to other opportunities such as through a review of Aflac Inc. (AFL)Chubb Corporation (CB) and Travelers Companies (TRV).  From a valuation side of things, the company appears undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $2.25 in 2010 to an estimated $2.97 for 2014.  This level of demonstrated growth is stronger than the market’s implied estimate of 1.35% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model to return an estimate of intrinsic value that is well above the market price.

UNM Chart

UNM data by YCharts

What do you think?  Are these companies a good value for Defensive Investors?  Is there a company you like better?  Leave a comment on our Facebook page or mention @ModernGraham on Twitter to discuss.

Disclaimer:  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 those holdings within the next 72 hours.

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