Communications Sales & Leasing Valuation – Initial Coverage $CSAL

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 – February 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 Communications Sales & Leasing, Inc. (CSAL) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Communications Sales & Leasing, Inc. (CS&L) is an internally managed real estate investment trust (REIT) engaged in the acquisition and construction of a range of infrastructure in the communications industry. The Company is focused on acquiring and constructing fiber optic broadband networks, wireless communications towers, copper and coaxial broadband networks and data centers. The Company operates through two segments: Leasing and Consumer competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC). The Company’s Leasing segment represents its REIT operations. The Consumer CLEC segment represents the operations of its Consumer CLEC Business. It conducts the Consumer CLEC Business through its subsidiary, Talk America Services, LLC, which provides local telephone, high-speed Internet and long distance service to approximately 46,000 customers. The Company owns approximately 3.6 million fiber strand miles, over 230,800 route miles of copper, and other property across 30 states.

CSAL Chart

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Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of CSAL – February 2017

Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?

What kind of Intelligent Investor are you?

Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.
1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise Market Cap > $2Bil $4,666,858,756 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 0.43 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Fail
4. Dividend Record Dividend Payments for 10 years prior Fail
5. Earnings Growth Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end -1500100.00% Fail
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 647.90 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 -3.15 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 0.43 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 -16.52 Fail
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 Pass

Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $0.04
MG Growth Estimate 15.00%
MG Value $1.72
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade D
MG Value based on 3% Growth $0.65
MG Value based on 0% Growth $0.38
Market Implied Growth Rate 319.70%
Current Price $28.94
% of Intrinsic Value 1682.86%

Communications Sales & Leasing 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, the poor dividend history, and the high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets, and the lack of earnings stability 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 growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $0 in 2013 to an estimated $0.04 for 2017. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 319.7% 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 Communications Sales & Leasing Inc revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $0. The company pays a dividend of $2.4 per share, for a yield of 8.3%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 647.9, which was above the industry average of 31.91. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-29.74.

Communications Sales & Leasing 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) -$29.74
Graham Number $0.00
PEmg 647.90
Current Ratio 0.43
PB Ratio -3.15
Current Dividend $2.40
Dividend Yield 8.29%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 2


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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 12/1/2016
Total Current Assets $187,035,000
Total Current Liabilities $430,902,000
Long-Term Debt $4,028,214,000
Total Assets $3,318,752,000
Intangible Assets $422,918,000
Total Liabilities $4,721,197,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 152,473,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate -$0.11
Dec2016 -$0.04
Dec2015 $0.00
Dec2014 $0.69

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $0.04
Dec2016 $0.12
Dec2015 $0.18
Dec2014 $0.23

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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.






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