International Paper Co Valuation – March 2017 $IP

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 – March 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 International Paper Co (IP) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): International Paper Company is a paper and packaging company with primary markets and manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Company’s segments include Industrial Packaging, Global Cellulose Fibers, Printing Papers and Consumer Packaging. The Company is a manufacturer of containerboard in the United States. Its products include linerboard, medium, whitetop, recycled linerboard, recycled medium and saturating kraft. The Company’s cellulose fibers product portfolio includes fluff, market and specialty pulps. The Company is a producer of printing and writing papers. The products in Printing Papers segment include uncoated papers. The Company is a producer of solid bleached sulfate board. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated 29 pulp, paper and packaging mills, 170 converting and packaging plants, 16 recycling plants and three bag facilities in the United States.

IP Chart

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Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of IP – March 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 $20,748,870,275 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 1.71 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 8466.67% Pass
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 20.27 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 4.86 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 1.71 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 3.82 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

EPSmg $2.51
MG Growth Estimate 0.42%
MG Value $23.42
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade C+
MG Value based on 3% Growth $36.35
MG Value based on 0% Growth $21.31
Market Implied Growth Rate 5.88%
Current Price $50.81
% of Intrinsic Value 216.91%

International Paper Co is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, insufficient earnings stability over the last ten years, and the high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor is only concerned with the level of debt relative to the net current assets. As a result, all Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Overvalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $2.44 in 2013 to an estimated $2.51 for 2017. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 5.88% 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 International Paper Co revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $28. The company pays a dividend of $1.78 per share, for a yield of 3.5%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 20.27, which was below the industry average of 28.3, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-53.02.

International Paper Co receives an average overall rating in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring a C+.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$53.02
Graham Number $28.00
PEmg 20.27
Current Ratio 1.71
PB Ratio 4.86
Current Dividend $1.78
Dividend Yield 3.51%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 8


Useful Links:

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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 12/1/2016
Total Current Assets $6,969,000,000
Total Current Liabilities $4,072,000,000
Long-Term Debt $11,075,000,000
Total Assets $33,345,000,000
Intangible Assets $3,911,000,000
Total Liabilities $29,004,000,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 415,600,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $3.30
Dec2016 $2.18
Dec2015 $2.23
Dec2014 $1.29
Dec2013 $3.11
Dec2012 $1.80
Dec2011 $3.03
Dec2010 $1.59
Dec2009 $1.55
Dec2008 -$3.05
Dec2007 $2.70
Dec2006 $2.18
Dec2005 $2.21
Dec2004 -$0.07
Dec2003 $0.63
Dec2002 -$1.82
Dec2001 -$2.50
Dec2000 $0.32
Dec1999 $0.44
Dec1998 $0.60
Dec1997 -$0.20

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $2.51
Dec2016 $2.11
Dec2015 $2.15
Dec2014 $2.13
Dec2013 $2.44
Dec2012 $1.73
Dec2011 $1.52
Dec2010 $0.84
Dec2009 $0.68
Dec2008 $0.43
Dec2007 $1.96
Dec2006 $1.26
Dec2005 $0.43
Dec2004 -$0.53
Dec2003 -$0.70
Dec2002 -$1.11
Dec2001 -$0.59

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

International Paper Co Valuation – December 2015 Update $IP
10 Undervalued Companies for Enterprising Dividend Investors – November 2015
10 Undervalued Companies for the Enterprising Dividend Stock Investor – October 2015
15 Best Stocks For Value Investors This Week – 9/4/15
International Paper Company Analysis – September 2015 Update $IP

Other ModernGraham posts about related companies

WestRock Co Valuation – August 2016 $WRK
Bemis Company Inc Valuation – July 2016 $BMS
Owens-Illinois Inc Valuation – June 2016 $OI
Bemis Co Inc Valuation – January 2016 Update $BMS
WestRock Co Valuation – January 2016 Update $WRK
International Paper Co Valuation – December 2015 Update $IP
Bemis Company Inc. Analysis – September 2015 Update $BMS
WestRock Co. Analysis – Initial Coverage $WRK
International Paper Company Analysis – September 2015 Update $IP
Ball Corporation Analysis – 2015 Update $BLL


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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