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 10 Most Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor – AugustÂ 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 Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC)Â fares in theÂ ModernGraham valuation model.
Company ProfileÂ (obtained fromÂ Google Finance): Marsh and McLennan Companies, Inc. is a professional services firm. The Company operates as two business segments: Risk and Insurance Services, and Consulting. The Risk and Insurance Services segment provides risk management activities and insurance broking, reinsurance broking and insurance program management services for businesses, public entities, insurance companies, associations, professional services organizations and private clients. The Company conducts business in this segment through Marsh and Guy Carpenter. The Company conducts business in its Consulting segment through two main business groups: Mercer, provides consulting expertise, advice, services and solutions in the areas of health, retirement, talent and investments, and Oliver Wyman Group, provides specialized management and economic and brand consulting services.
Premium members can view a full ModernGraham valuation of the company and have access to download a PDF version of the valuation for easy reference. Here is aÂ free sample valuation pdf, and here is a post detailing what can be found within each individual company’s valuation.
Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:
Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?
|Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.|
|1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise||Market Cap > $2Bil||Pass|
|2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Current Ratio > 2||Fail|
|3. Earnings Stability||Positive EPS for 10 years prior||Fail|
|4. Dividend Record||Dividend Payments for 10 years prior||Pass|
|5. Earnings Growth||Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end||Fail|
|6. Moderate PEmg Ratio||PEmg < 20||Fail|
|7. Moderate Price to Assets||PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50||Fail|
|Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.|
|1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Current Ratio > 1.5||Pass|
|2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Debt to NCA < 1.1||Fail|
|3. Earnings Stability||Positive EPS for 5 years prior||Pass|
|4. Dividend Record||Currently Pays Dividend||Pass|
|5. Earnings Growth||EPSmg greater than 5 years ago||Pass|
Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value
|MG Growth Estimate||12.91%|
|MG Value based on 3% Growth||$37.16|
|MG Value based on 0% Growth||$21.78|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||6.34%|
|% of Intrinsic Value||61.70%|
Marsh & McLennan CompaniesÂ qualifies for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. Â The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, insufficient earnings stability or growth over the last ten years, and the high PEmg and PB ratios. Â The Enterprising Investor is only initially concerned with the level of debt relative to the net current assets.Â As a result, all Enterprising InvestorsÂ following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel comfortable proceeding with further research into the company.
As for a valuation,Â the company appears to be undervalued after growingÂ itsÂ EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.38 in 2011 to an estimated $2.56 for 2015. Â This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpacesÂ the market’s implied estimate of 6.34% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years.Â As a result, the ModernGrahamÂ valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value aboveÂ 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 Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC)? 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.
Stage 3: Information for Further Research
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$9.85|
|Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth||6|
|ModernGraham tagged articles||Morningstar|
|Google Finance||MSN Money|
|Yahoo Finance||Seeking Alpha|
Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures
|Total Current Assets||$5,299,000,000|
|Total Current Liabilities||$3,208,000,000|
|Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average)||541,000,000|
Earnings Per Share History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$2.90|
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$2.56|
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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 See my current holdings here. Â This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to aÂ registeredÂ investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions. Â ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner. Â Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.