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 Leucadia National Corporation (LUK)Â fares in theÂ ModernGraham valuation model.
Company ProfileÂ (obtained fromÂ Google Finance):Â Leucadia National Corporation is a diversified holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in a variety of businesses, including investment banking and capital markets, beef processing, manufacturing, energy projects, asset management and real estate. The Company also owns equity interests in operating businesses, including commercial mortgage banking and servicing business, automobile dealerships and a fixed wireless broadband services provider. The Companyâ€™s subsidiaries include Jefferies Group LLC; National Beef Packing Company, LLC; Idaho Timber, LLC; Conwed Plastics, LLC; Lake Charles Clean Energy, LLC; Leucadia Asset Management; HomeFed Corporation and Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC.
Defensive Investor – must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 3/7
- 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 FAIL
- 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 FAIL
- Moderate PEmg ratio – PEmg is less than 20 -Â PASS
- Moderate Price to Assets – PB ratio is less than 2.5 or PB x PEmg is less than 50 -Â PASS
Enterprising Investor – must pass at least 4 of the following 5 tests or be suitable for a defensive investor: Score = 4/5
- 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 PASS
- 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
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$26.98|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$15.82|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||1.94%|
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||$4.56|
Balance Sheet – SeptemberÂ 2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per ShareÂ – ModernGraham
Leucadia NationalÂ CorporationÂ is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. Â The Defensive InvestorÂ is concerned with the low current ratio, lack of sufficient earnings stability or growth over the last ten years, and the inconsistent dividend history. The Enterprising Investor is only concerned by the low current ratio. Â As a result, Enterprising InvestorsÂ following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel very comfortable proceeding with further research and comparing the company to other opportunities. Â As for a valuation,Â the company appears to be undervaluedÂ after growingÂ its EPSmg (normalized earnings) fromÂ $1.35Â in 2010 to an estimated $1.86Â for 2014. Â This level of demonstrated growthÂ is greater than the market’s implied estimate of 1.94%Â earnings growth and leads the ModernGrahamÂ valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value aboveÂ the price.
Be sure to check out previous ModernGraham valuations of Leucadia National Corporation (LUK)Â for greater perspective!
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 Leucadia National Corporation (LUK)? 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 Leucadia National Corporation (LUK)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.