L3 Communications Holdings Inc. Quarterly Valuation – October 2014 $LLL

L3CommunicationsBenjamin Graham taught that Intelligent Investors must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine their intrinsic value and inherent risk.  This is 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 or by reviewing the 5 Undervalued Companies to Research for the Defensive Investor - October 2014.  By using the ModernGraham method one can review a company’s historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries.  What follows is a specific look at how L3 Communications (LLL) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. is a prime contractor in aerospace systems and national security solutions. The Company is also a provider of a range of communication and electronic systems and products used on military and commercial platforms. The Company operates in four segments: Aerospace Systems, Electronic Systems, Communication Systems and National Security Solutions.
LLL Chart

LLL data by YCharts

Defensive Investor – must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 6/7

  1. Adequate Size of Enterprise – market capitalization of at least $2 billion - PASS
  2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition – current ratio greater than 2 – FAIL
  3. Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 10 straight years - PASS
  4. Dividend Record – has paid a dividend for at least 10 straight years - PASS
  5. 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
  6. Moderate PEmg ratio – PEmg is less than 20 - PASS
  7. Moderate Price to Assets – PB ratio is less than 2.5 or PB x PEmg is less than 50 - PASS

Enterprising Investor – must pass at least 4 of the following 5 tests or be suitable for a defensive investor: Score = 4/5

  1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 1 – current ratio greater than 1.5 - PASS
  2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 2 – Debt to Net Current Assets ratio less than 1.1 - FAIL
  3. Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 5 years – PASS
  4. Dividend Record – currently pays a dividend - PASS
  5. Earnings growth – EPSmg greater than 5 years ago - PASS

Valuation Summary

Key Data:

Recent Price $114.56
MG Value $94.39
MG Opinion Overvalued
Value Based on 3% Growth $118.00
Value Based on 0% Growth $69.17
Market Implied Growth Rate 2.79%
Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$39.27
PEmg 14.08
Current Ratio 1.89
PB Ratio 1.73

Balance Sheet – June 2014

Current Assets $4,705,000,000
Current Liabilities $2,494,000,000
Total Debt $3,948,000,000
Total Assets $14,116,000,000
Intangible Assets $8,112,000,000
Total Liabilities $8,212,000,000
Outstanding Shares 89,300,000

Earnings Per Share

2014 (estimate) $7.34
2013 $8.54
2012 $8.30
2011 $9.03
2010 $8.25
2009 $7.61
2008 $7.59
2007 $5.98
2006 $4.22
2005 $4.20
2004 $3.33

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham

2014 (estimate) $8.14
2013 $8.47
2012 $8.35
2011 $8.14
2010 $7.38
2009 $6.60

Dividend History
LLL Dividend Chart

LLL Dividend data by YCharts


L3 Communications is suitable for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor.  The Defensive Investor’s only concern is the low current ratio while the Enterprising Investor’s only issue is with the level of debt relative to the net current assets.  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 it to other opportunities.  As for a valuation, the company appears to be overvalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $7.38 in 2010 to an estimated $8.14 for 2014.  This level of demonstrated growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 2.79% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

Be sure to check out previous ModernGraham valuations of L3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL) for a better perspective!

The next part of the analysis is up to individual investors, and requires discussion of the company’s prospects.  What do you think?  What value would you put on L3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL)?  Where do you see the company going in the future?  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 L3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL) or 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.  Logo taken from Wikipedia for the sole purpose of identifying the company; this article is not affiliated with the company in any manner.

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