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 companyÂ or by reviewing theÂ 5 Highest Dividend Yields Among Undervalued Companies for the EnterprisingÂ Investor.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 EQT Corporation (EQT)Â fares in theÂ ModernGraham valuation model.
Company ProfileÂ (obtained fromÂ Google Finance):Â EQT Corporation (EQT) conducts its business through three business segments: EQT Production, EQT Midstream and Distribution. EQT Production is a natural gas producer in the Appalachian Basin with 5.4 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved reserves across 3.5 million acres, as of December 31, 2011. EQT Midstream provides gathering, transmission and storage services for the Companyâ€™s produced gas and to independent third parties in the Appalachian Basin. Distribution, through its regulated natural gas distribution subsidiary, Equitable Gas Company, LLC (Equitable Gas), distributes and sells natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers in southwestern Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Kentucky; operates a small gathering system in Pennsylvania, and provides off-system sales activities, which include the purchase and delivery of gas to customers. On February 1, 2011, EQT Midstream sold Langley and the associated NGL pipeline to MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P.
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 -Â FAIL
- Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 10 straight years -Â PASS
- Dividend Record – has paid a dividend for at least 10 straight years -Â 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 -Â 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 = 4/5
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 1 – current ratio greater than 1.5 – PASS
- 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 -Â PASS
- Earnings growth – EPSmg greater than 5 years ago – PASS
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$36.11|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$21.17|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||16.79%|
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$30.96|
Balance Sheet – 3/31/2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham
EQT Corporation qualifies for the Enterprising Investor but not the Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor has concerns with the low current ratio, the lack of sufficient earnings growth over the last ten years, and the high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investorâ€™s only concern is with the level of debt relative to the net current assets. As a result, Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel comfortable proceeding with further research into the company and comparing it to other opportunities. From a valuation side of things, the company appears to be overvalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.64 in 2010 to only an estimated $2.49 for 2014. This low level of demonstrated growth does not support the marketâ€™s implied estimate of 16.79% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value well below 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 onÂ EQT Corporation (EQT)? 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.
Disclaimer: Â The author did not hold a position inÂ EQT Corporation (EQT)Â orÂ in any other company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours. Â Logo taken from wikipedia for the sole purpose of identifying the company; this article is not affiliated with the company in any manner.