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 Stocks for Using A Benjamin Graham Value Investing Strategy – January 2017. 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 Staples Inc (SPLS) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Staples, Inc. is a provider of products and services for business customers and consumers. The Company offers a selection of products, Websites and mobile platforms, and a range of copy, print and technology services. The Company operates through three business segments, which include North American Stores & Online, North American Commercial and International Operations. The North American Stores & Online segment includes its retail stores and Staples.com businesses in the United States and Canada. The North American Commercial segment consists of the United States and Canadian businesses that sell and deliver products and services directly to businesses, including Staples Advantage and Quill.com. The International Operations segment consists of businesses in approximately 25 countries in Europe, Australia, South America and Asia. It serves businesses of all sizes and consumers in North America, Europe, Australia, South America and Asia.
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. Recent valuations of the components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average are available for free members, including this one of Microsoft Corporation. In addition, 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||$5,727,572,345||Pass|
|2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Current Ratio > 2||1.65||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||-94.62%||Fail|
|6. Moderate PEmg Ratio||PEmg < 20||89.11||Fail|
|7. Moderate Price to Assets||PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50||1.26||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||1.65||Pass|
|2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Debt to NCA < 1.1||0.49||Pass|
|3. Earnings Stability||Positive EPS for 5 years prior||Fail|
|4. Dividend Record||Currently Pays Dividend||Pass|
|5. Earnings Growth||EPSmg greater than 5 years ago||Fail|
Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value
|MG Growth Estimate||-4.25%|
|MG Value based on 3% Growth||$1.46|
|MG Value based on 0% Growth||$0.86|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||40.30%|
|% of Intrinsic Value||986.10%|
Staples, Inc. does not satisfy the requirements of either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, insufficient earnings stability or growth over the last ten years, and the high PEmg ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the lack of earnings stability or growth over the last five years. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should explore other opportunities at this time or proceed cautiously with a speculative attitude.
As for a valuation, the company appears to be Overvalued after seeing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) decline from $0.72 in 2013 to an estimated $0.1 for 2017. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 40.3% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value below the price.
At the time of valuation, further research into Staples, Inc. revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $0. The company pays a dividend of $0.48 per share, for a yield of 5.4%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 89.11, which was above the industry average of 50.09. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $0.91.
Staples, Inc. scores quite poorly in the ModernGraham grading system, with an overall grade of D.
Stage 3: Information for Further Research
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||$0.91|
|Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth||0|
|ModernGraham tagged articles||Morningstar|
|Google Finance||MSN Money|
|Yahoo Finance||Seeking Alpha|
Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures
|Balance Sheet Information||10/1/2016|
|Total Current Assets||$5,334,000,000|
|Total Current Liabilities||$3,241,000,000|
|Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average)||653,000,000|
Earnings Per Share History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||-$0.61|
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$0.10|
Other ModernGraham posts about the company
|5 Speculative and Overvalued Companies to Avoid – November 2015|
|Staples Inc. Analysis – September 2015 Update $SPLS|
|17 Companies in the Spotlight This Week – 9/20/2014|
|Staples Inc. Annual Stock Valuation – 2014 $SPLS|
Other ModernGraham posts about related companies
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.