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 10 Companies Benjamin Graham Would Invest In Today – February 2016. 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 Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Norfolk Southern Corporation is a holding company. The Company owns a freight railroad, Norfolk Southern Railway Company. The Company is engaged in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products and finished goods primarily in the Southeast, East and Midwest and through interchange with rail carriers, to and from the rest of the United States. The Company also transports overseas freight through various Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports. It provides logistics services and offers an intermodal network in the eastern half of the United States. The Company’s system reaches various individual industries, electric generating facilities, mines, distribution centers, transload facilities and other businesses located in its service area. The Company’s general merchandise market group is composed of five commodity groupings: chemicals; metals and construction; agriculture, consumer products, and Government; automotive, and paper, clay and forest products.
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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||$20,794,492,699||Pass|
|2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Current Ratio > 2||1.18||Fail|
|3. Earnings Stability||Positive EPS for 10 years prior||Pass|
|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||54.28%||Pass|
|6. Moderate PEmg Ratio||PEmg < 20||11.95||Pass|
|7. Moderate Price to Assets||PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50||1.63||Pass|
|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||1.18||Fail|
|2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Debt to NCA < 1.1||23.37||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||2.76%|
|MG Value based on 3% Growth||$80.91|
|MG Value based on 0% Growth||$47.43|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||1.73%|
|% of Intrinsic Value||85.27%|
Norfolk Southern Corp qualifies for both the Enterprising Investor and the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is only concerned by the low current ratio, and the Enterprising Investor is willing to overlook concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets because the company meets the more stringent Defensive Investor requirements. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel comfortable proceeding with further research.
As for a valuation, the company appears to be fairly valued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $4.71 in 2012 to an estimated $5.58 for 2016. This level of demonstrated earnings growth supports the market’s implied estimate of 1.73% 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 within a margin of safety relative to the price.
Stage 3: Information for Further Research
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$65.11|
|Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth||15|
|ModernGraham tagged articles||Morningstar|
|Google Finance||MSN Money|
|Yahoo Finance||Seeking Alpha|
Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures
|Balance Sheet Information||Dec2015|
|Total Current Assets||$2,633,000,000|
|Total Current Liabilities||$2,231,000,000|
|Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average)||298,570,000|
Earnings Per Share History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$5.00|
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$5.58|
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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. See my current holdings here. This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions. ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner. Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.