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 – May 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 stock analysis showing a specific look at how Nucor Corporation (NUE) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Nucor Corporation (Nucor) manufactures steel and steel products. The Company also produces direct reduced iron (DRI) for use in the Company’s steel mills. It also processes ferrous and nonferrous metals and brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron, hot briquetted iron (HBI) and DRI. Nucor operates in three segments: steel mills, steel products and raw materials. In the steel mills segment, Nucor produces and distributes sheet steel, plate steel, structural steel and bar steel. In the steel products segment, Nucor produces steel joists and joist girders, steel deck, fabricated concrete reinforcing steel, cold finished steel, steel fasteners, metal building systems, steel grating and expanded metal, and wire and wire mesh. In the raw materials segment, the Company produces DRI; brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron, HBI and DRI; supplies ferro-alloys, and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal.
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 – PASS
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition – current ratio greater than 2 – PASS
- Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 10 straight years – FAIL
- 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 – FAIL
- 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 – 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 – 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 – FAIL
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$23.73|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$13.91|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||10.57%|
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$4.31|
Balance Sheet – March 2015
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham
As this stock analysis shows, Nucor Corporation is qualifies for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the insufficient level of earnings stability or growth over the last ten years, along with the high PEmg ratio. The Enterprising Investor is only concerned with the lack of earnings growth over the last five years. As a result, Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should explore other opportunities. As for a valuation, the company appears to be overvalued after seeing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) drop from $1.87 in 2011 to only an estimated $1.64 for 2015. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 10.57% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value well below 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 Nucor Corporation (NUE)? 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 any 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.