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 Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor Near 52 Week Lows – September 2014.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 Peabody Energy (BTU)Â fares in theÂ ModernGraham valuation model.
Company ProfileÂ (obtained fromÂ Google Finance):Â Peabody Energy Corporation (Peabody) is a private-sector coal company. The Company owns interests in 28 active coal mining operations located in the United States and Australia. The Company has a majority interest in 27 of those coal operations and a 50% equity interests in the Middlemount Mine in Australia. The Company also owns a noncontrolling interest in a mining operation in Venezuela. In addition to the Company’s mining operations, the Company markets and broker coals from its operations and other coal producers, both as principal and agent, and trade coal and freight-related contracts through trading and business offices. The Company conducts business through four principal segments: Western United States. Mining, Midwestern U.S. Mining, Australian Mining and Trading and Brokerage. The Company’s fifth segment, Corporate and Other, includes mining and export/transportation joint ventures, activities associated with certain energy-related commercial matters, Btu Conversion.
Defensive Investor – must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 2/7
- Adequate Size of Enterprise – market capitalization of at least $2 billion -Â 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 FAIL
- 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 – FAIL
- Moderate PEmg ratio – PEmg is less than 20 -Â FAIL
- Moderate Price to Assets – PB ratio is less than 2.5 or PB x PEmg is less than 50 -Â FAIL
Enterprising Investor – must pass at least 4 of the following 5 tests or be suitable for a defensive investor: Score = 1/5
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 1 – current ratio greater than 1.5 -Â FAIL
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 2 – Debt to Net Current Assets ratio less than 1.1 -Â FAIL
- Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 5 years -Â FAIL
- Dividend Record – currently pays a dividend -Â PASS
- Earnings growth – EPSmg greater than 5 years ago -Â FAIL
Balance Sheet – 6/30/2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per ShareÂ – ModernGraham
Peabody Energy does not qualify for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor. Â The Defensive Investor is concerned by the low current ratio, the lack of earnings stability or growth over the last ten years, and the poor PEmg and PB ratios. Â Likewise, the Enterprising Investor is concerned with the high level of debt relative to the current assets as well as the lack of earnings stability or growth over the last five years. Â As a result, value investorsÂ following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should explore other opportunities. Â From purely a valuation side of things, the company appears to be overvalued after seeing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) drop from $2.47 in 2010 to an estimated loss of $0.44 in 2014. Â This demonstrated drop in earnings, in combination with the fact the company is currently losing money, does not support a positive valuation and leads theÂ ModernGrahamÂ valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value well belowÂ 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 Peabody Energy (BTU)? 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 in Peabody Energy (BTU)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.