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 – January 2015.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 Ross Stores Inc. (ROST)Â fares in theÂ ModernGraham valuation model.
Company ProfileÂ (obtained fromÂ Google Finance):Â Ross Stores, Inc. is an off-price apparel and home fashion chain in the United States. The Company operates two brands of off-price retail apparel and home fashion stores: Ross Dress for Less (Ross) and ddâ€™s DISCOUNTS. Ross offers designer apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20% to 60% off department and specialty store regular prices. Its merchandise offerings also include, but are not limited to, small furniture and furniture accents, educational toys and games, luggage, gourmet food and cookware, watches, and sporting goods. As of February 1, 2014, it operated 130 ddâ€™s DISCOUNTS stores in 10 states that features brand apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20% to 70% off moderate department and discount store regular prices. At February 1, 2014, it operated a total of 1,276 stores, of which 1,146 were Ross locations in 33 states, the District of Columbia and Guam.
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 -Â 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 = 4/5
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 1 – current ratio greater than 1.5 – 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 -Â PASS
- Dividend Record – currently pays a dividend -Â PASS
- Earnings growth – EPSmg greater than 5 years ago -Â PASS
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$53.74|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$31.50|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||8.61%|
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$0.87|
Balance Sheet – OctoberÂ 2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per ShareÂ – ModernGraham
Ross Stores Inc.Â is suitableÂ for the Enterprising Investor but notÂ for the Defensive Investor. Â The Defensive Investor is concerned by the low current ratio, along with the high PEmg and PB ratios.Â The Enterprising Investor is only initially 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 From a valuation side of things,Â the company appears to be undervaluedÂ after growingÂ its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.66 in 2011 to an estimated $3.71 for 2015. Â This level of demonstrated growth is greater thanÂ the market’s implied estimate of 8.61%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 Ross Stores Inc. (ROST)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 Ross Stores Inc. (ROST)? 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 Ross Stores Inc. (ROST)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.