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Frontier Communications Corp Annual Valuation – 2014 $FTR

Frontier_logoBenjamin 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 for the Defensive Investor Near 52 Week Lows – November 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 Frontier Communications Corp (FTR) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Frontier Communications Corporation is a communications company. The Company is engaged in providing services predominantly to rural areas and small and medium-sized towns and cities in the United States. The Company offers a range of voice, data, and television (TV) services and products. The Company offers a portfolio of communications services for residential and business customers in each of its markets. The Company’s product portfolio includes voice services, Internet access, broadband-enabled services and video services. The Company’s offer these services both on a standalone basis and as bundled packages that are purposely designed to simplify customer purchasing decisions and to provide the customer with pricing discounts. The Company offer selective incentives and promotions to influence customers to purchase or retain certain services.

Defensive Investor – must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 5/7

  1. Adequate Size of Enterprise – market capitalization of at least $2 billion - PASS
  2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition – current ratio greater than 2 - PASS
  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 - FAIL
  6. Moderate PEmg ratio – PEmg is less than 20 - FAIL
  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 = 3/5

  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 - FAIL

Valuation Summary

Key Data:

Recent Price $6.48
MG Value $0.00
MG Opinion Overvalued
Value Based on 3% Growth $2.14
Value Based on 0% Growth $1.25
Market Implied Growth Rate 17.74%
Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$10.84
PEmg 43.98
Current Ratio 2.19
PB Ratio 1.66

Balance Sheet – September 2014

Current Assets $2,927,000,000
Current Liabilities $1,338,000,000
Total Debt $9,186,000,000
Total Assets $17,640,000,000
Intangible Assets $7,335,000,000
Total Liabilities $13,747,000,000
Outstanding Shares 997,900,000

Earnings Per Share

2014 (estimate) $0.17
2013 $0.11
2012 $0.13
2011 $0.15
2010 $0.23
2009 $0.38
2008 $0.57
2007 $0.65
2006 $1.06
2005 $0.60
2004 $0.23

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham

2014 (estimate) $0.15
2013 $0.16
2012 $0.22
2011 $0.31
2010 $0.45
2009 $0.59

Dividend History

Conclusion:

Frontier Communciations Corp does not qualify for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor.  The Defensive Investor is concerned by the lack of earnings growth over the last ten years along with the high PEmg ratio.  The Enterprising Investor is similarly concerned by the lack of earnings growth over the last five years along with the high 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 explore other opportunities at this time.  From a valuation side of things,  the company appears to be overvalued after seeing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) drop from $0.45 in 2010 to only an estimated $0.15 for 2014.  This demonstrated lack of growth clearly does not support the market’s implied estimate of 17.74% 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.  What do you think?  What value would you put on Frontier Communications Corp (FTR)?  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 Frontier Communications Corp (FTR) 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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