Benjamin 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 Most Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor – March 2015. 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 MTS Systems Corporation (MTSC) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): MTS Systems Corporation (MTS) is a global supplier of test systems and position sensors. The Company’s operations are organized and managed in two business segments: the Test segment and the Sensors. Testing segment’s testing hardware, software and services solutions help customers improve their design, development, and manufacturing processes and are used for determining the mechanical behavior of materials, products, and structures. Test also sells a range of accessories and spare parts, as well as services, including installation, calibration, maintenance, training and consulting. MTS’ sensors segment provides controls for a range of industrial and vehicular applications. The segment’s customer industries include manufacturers of plastic injection molding machines, steel mills, fluid power, oil and gas, medical, wood product processing equipment, mobile equipment, and energy.
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 – FAIL
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition – current ratio greater than 2 – FAIL
- Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 10 straight years – 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 – PASS
- Moderate PEmg ratio – PEmg is less than 20 – FAIL
- Moderate Price to Assets – PB ratio is less than 2.5 or PB x PEmg is less than 50 – FAIL
Enterprising Investor – must pass at least 4 of the following 5 tests or be suitable for a defensive investor: Score = 5/5
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 1 – current ratio greater than 1.5 – PASS
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 2 – Debt to Net Current Assets ratio less than 1.1 – PASS
- Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 5 years – PASS
- Dividend Record – currently pays a dividend – PASS
- Earnings growth – EPSmg greater than 5 years ago – PASS
|MG Opinion||Fairly Valued|
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$48.58|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$28.48|
|Market-implied growth rate||6.99%|
Balance Sheet – December 2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham
MTS Systems Corporation is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not for the Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned by the low current ratio, small company size, and the high PEmg and PB ratios, 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 very comfortable proceeding with further research and comparing the company to other opportunities. From a valuation side of things, the company appears to be fairly valued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $2.12 in 2011 to an estimated $3.35 for 2015. This level of demonstrated growth supports the market’s implied estimate of 6.99% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value within a margin of safety relative to 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 MTS Systems Corporation (MTSC)? 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 MTS Systems Corporation (MTSC) 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.