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 Most Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor – December 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 Praxair Inc. (PX)Â fares in theÂ ModernGraham valuation model.
Company ProfileÂ (obtained fromÂ Google Finance):Â Praxair, Inc. (Praxair) is an industrial gases supplier. The Companyâ€™s products are oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, argon, carbon dioxide, helium, electronic gases and a range of specialty gases. Praxair Surface Technologies supplies coatings, which protect metal parts from wear, corrosion and heat. Praxairâ€™s industrial gas operations are managed on a geographical basis. During the year ended December 31, 2012, 94% of sales were generated in four geographic segments (North America, Europe, South America, and Asia). The surface technologies segment generated the remaining 6% of sales. Praxair serves approximately 25 industries, including healthcare and petroleum refining; computer-chip manufacturing and beverage carbonation; fiber-optics and steel making, and aerospace, chemicals and water treatment. In September 2014, Generational Equity announced the acquisition of its client, Genie Products, Inc., by Praxair Inc.
Defensive Investor – must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 4/7
- 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 PASS
- Dividend Record – has paid a dividend for at least 10 straight years – 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 PASS
- 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 = 3/5
- 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 – PASS
- Dividend Record – currently pays a dividend -Â PASS
- Earnings growth – EPSmg greater than 5 years ago -Â PASS
|MG Opinion||Fairly Valued|
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$83.42|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$48.90|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||7.04%|
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$36.50|
Balance Sheet – SeptemberÂ 2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per ShareÂ – ModernGraham
PraxairÂ is not suitableÂ for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor. Â The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, and the poorÂ PEmg and PB ratios. Â The Enterprising Investor is concerned with the level of debt relative to the current assets. Â As a result, value investorsÂ following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should exploreÂ other opportunities. Â As for a valuation,Â the company appears to be fairlyÂ valuedÂ after growingÂ its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $3.79 in 2010 to an estimated $5.75 for 2014. Â This level of demonstrated growth supportsÂ the market’s implied estimate of 7.04%Â earnings growth and leads the ModernGrahamÂ valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value within a margin of safety relative toÂ 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 Praxair Inc. (PX)? 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 aÂ position in Praxair Inc. (PX)Â 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.
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