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 – July 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 stock analysis showing a specific look at how Aecom (ACM)Â fares in theÂ ModernGraham valuation model.
Company ProfileÂ (obtained fromÂ Google Finance): AECOM is a provider of professional technical and management support services for commercial and government clients around the world. The Company provides planning, consulting, architectural and engineering design, and program and construction management services for a range of projects, including highways, airports, bridges, mass transit systems, government and commercial buildings, water and wastewater facilities, and power transmission and distribution. The Company also provides program and facilities management and maintenance, training, logistics, security and other support services, primarily for agencies of the United States government. It operates in two segments: Professional Technical Services and Management Support Services. Effective July 10, 2014, it acquired ACE International Consultants SL, a Madrid-based provider of consulting services. In July 2014, it acquired Hunt Construction Group, adding to AECOM’s construction services business.
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 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 PASS
Enterprising Investor – must pass at least 4Â of the following 5 tests or be suitable for a defensive investor: Score = 0/5
- 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 -Â FAIL
- Dividend Record – currently pays a dividend -Â FAIL
- Earnings growth – EPSmg greater than 5 years ago -Â FAIL
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$21.76|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$12.76|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||6.05%|
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$30.11|
Balance Sheet – MarchÂ 2015
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per ShareÂ – ModernGraham
Aecom does not pay a dividend.
AecomÂ does notÂ qualifyÂ for eitherÂ the Defensive Investor orÂ the Enterprising Investor. Â The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, insufficient earnings stability over the last ten years, lack of dividends, and the high PEmg ratio. Â The Enterprising Investor is concerned by the level of debt relative to the current assets, the lack of dividends, and the insufficient earnings growth or stability over the last five years.Â As a result, all valueÂ investorsÂ following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should explore other opportunities or proceed with a speculative attitude. Â As for a valuation,Â the company appears to be overvalued after seeingÂ itsÂ EPSmg (normalized earnings) decline from $1.93 in 2011 to an estimated $1.50 for 2015. Â This level of earnings growth does not supportÂ the market’s implied estimate of 6.05% annual earnings decreaseÂ over the next 7-10 years, andÂ leadsÂ the ModernGrahamÂ valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value belowÂ 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 Aecom (ACM)? 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 any company mentioned in this articleÂ 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.