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10 Companies Benjamin Graham Would Invest In Today – November 2014

10 Ben Graham CompaniesOut of the multitude of companies, which ones would legendary value investor Benjamin Graham buy today?  I’ve compiled ten great companies that fit the ModernGraham criteria, based on Benjamin Graham’s methods. The companies in this list pass the rigorous requirements of either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor and are undervalued by the market. To find more companies that meet these tests, be sure to check out the ModernGraham Valuation Index.

SLM Corporation (SLM)

Sallie_Mae_logo_2009SLM Corporation qualifies for the Enterprising Investor but not the Defensive Investor.  The Defensive Investor has concerns with the company’s lack of earnings or dividend stability over the last ten years, while the Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns.  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 undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $0.15 in 2010 to an estimated $1.57 for 2014.  This level of demonstrated growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of negative 1.45% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.  (See the full valuation)

Mattel Inc. (MAT)

200px-Mattel-brand.svgMattel Inc. achieves the rare feat of passing all of the requirements of both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor, so neither investor type has any initial concerns with the company.  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.  From a valuation side of things, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.52 in 2010 to an estimated $2.12 for 2014.  This level of demonstrated growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 3.04% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.  (See the full valuation)

Coach Inc. (COH)

Official_Coach_Inc_LogoCoach is an outstanding company for consideration by both Defensive Investors and Enterprising Investors. The only concern either investor type has is the Defensive Investor’s concern about the short dividend history. Other than that, the company passes all of the requirements with flying colors. As a result, both investor types should feel very comfortable proceeding to the next part of the analysis, which is a determination of the company’s intrinsic value.

The company has grown its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $2.01 in 2010 to an estimated $3.26 for 2014. This demonstrates the company has achieved a strong level of growth, a fact supported by the company’s growth in regular EPS from an average of $1.32 for the period of 2005-07 to an average of $3.44 for the period of 2012-14. This strong level of demonstrated historical growth leads the ModernGraham valuation model to estimate a growth rate of 9.37% over the next 7-10 years. Though this is a high figure, the company has achieved a growth rate of 12.49% over the historical period under review. As a result, the company could see a downturn in its growth and still achieve the ModernGraham growth estimate.

The model then utilizes Graham’s formula to return an estimate of intrinsic value of $88.84, which is well above the market’s current price of the company. In fact, even with a growth rate estimate of only 3% over the next 7-10 years, the company’s value would be $47.30, which is still above the market’s current price. Value investors are therefore encouraged to proceed with further research to determine whether Coach Inc. is suitable for their own individual portfolios.  (See the full valuation on Seeking Alpha)

Aflac Inc. (AFL)

500px-Aflac.svgAflac Inc. qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor.  In fact, the company satisfies 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 it to other opportunities.  As for a valuation, the company appears undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $3.66 in 2010 to an estimated $5.95 for 2014.  This level of demonstrated growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 0.89% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, which is based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the market price.  (See the full valuation)

Chevron Corporation (CVX)

500px-Chevron_Logo.svgChevron Corporation qualifies for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor.  The Defensive Investor’s only issue with the company is the low current ratio, while the Enterprising Investor is satisfied by default despite concerns with the level of debt relative to the current assets.  As a result, value investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel comfortable proceeding with research into the company and comparing it to other opportunities.  From a valuation side of things, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $8.58 in 2010 to an estimated $11.50 for 2014.  This level of demonstrated growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 1.33% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.  (See the full valuation)

PulteGroup Inc. (PHM)

logo (1)PulteGroup qualifies for the Enterprising Investor but not the Defensive Investor.  The Defensive Investor has concerns with the lack of earnings stability or growth over the last ten years.  The Enterprising Investor is concerned by the lack of earnings stability over the last five years.  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 perspective, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from a loss of $4.20 in 2010 to an estimated gain of $2.03 for 2014.  This level of earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 0.56% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.  (See the full valuation)

Deere & Company (DE)

500px-John_Deere_logo.svgDeere & Company is suitable for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor.  The company passes all of the requirements of both investor types, a rare accomplishment.  As a result, value investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel comfortable proceeding with research into the company and comparing it to other opportunities.  From a valuation perspective, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $3.68 in 2010 to an estimated $7.85 for 2014.  This level of demonstrated growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 0.98% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.  (See the full valuation)

Capital One Financial (COF)

500px-Capital_One_Financial_logo.svgDefensive Investors, the most conservative level of ModernGraham style investing, may not be interested in Capital One Financial due to the unstable earnings and low earnings growth over the last ten years, but Enterprising Investors should be very interested. The company passes all of the investor types’ requirements, and they should feel very comfortable proceeding to the next part of the analysis, which is a determination of the company’s intrinsic value.

In recent years, the company has grown its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $3.20 in 2010 to an estimated $6.86 for 2014. This is an outstanding level of growth, which significantly outpaces the market’s implied estimate of only 1.46%. In fact, the actual growth demonstrated by the company is greater than twenty percent. As a result of the strong growth demonstrated historically, the ModernGraham valuation model returns an estimate of intrinsic value well above the price, supporting a clear conclusion that the company is significantly undervalued. Enterprising Investors are therefore encouraged to proceed with further research to determine whether Capital One Financial is suitable for their own individual portfolios.  (See the full valuation on Seeking Alpha)

CF Industries Holdings (CF)

CfindustrieslogoCF Industries is suitable for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor.  The Defensive Investor’s only initial concern is the lack of earnings stability over the last ten years.  The Enterprising Investor’s only concern is 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 feel comfortable proceeding with research into the company and comparing it to other opportunities.  From a valuation perspective, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $7.11 in 2010 to an estimated $21.63 for 2014.  This level of demonstrated growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 1.54% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.  (See the full valuation)

D.R. Horton Inc. (DHI)

DR_Horton_LogoD&R Horton Inc. qualifies for the Enterprising Investor but not the Defensive Investor.  The Defensive Investor has concerns with the company’s lack of earnings stability or growth over the last ten years, while the company passes all of the Enterprising Investor’s requirements.  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 undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from a loss of $1.92 in 2010 to an estimated gain of $1.12 for 2014.  This level of demonstrated growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 4.85% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value abovethe price.  (See the full valuation)

Disclaimer:  The author held a long position in Coach Inc. (COH) and Deere & Company (DE) but did not hold a position in any of the other companies listed in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  Logos taken from the Wikipedia or the individual company’s website; this article is not affiliated with the company in any manner.

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