Telephone & Data Systems Inc Valuation – Initial Coverage $TDS

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 Telephone & Data Systems Inc (TDS) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. is a diversified telecommunications company. The Company is engaged in conducting its Wireless operations through its subsidiary, United States Cellular Corporation (U.S. Cellular), as well as providing its wireline services, cable services, and hosted and managed services (HMS), through its subsidiary, TDS Telecommunications Corporation (TDS Telecom). It operates through four business segments: U.S. Cellular, Wireline, Cable, and Hosted and Managed Services. U.S. Cellular provides service to postpaid and prepaid customers. Wireline operations provide retail telecommunications services to both residential and commercial customers. Wireline offers services, including broadband, video, voice and network access services. Cable offers broadband, video and voice services under TDS and BendBroadband brand names. It provides a range of information technology (IT) services, including colocation, and cloud and hosting solutions through its HMS business.

TDS Chart

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Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of TDS – April 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 $2,977,875,621 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 2.32 Pass
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 -30.26% Fail
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 57.16 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 0.72 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 2.32 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 2.08 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 Fail

Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $0.47
MG Growth Estimate -4.25%
MG Value $0.00
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade C-
MG Value based on 3% Growth $6.83
MG Value based on 0% Growth $4.01
Market Implied Growth Rate 24.33%
Current Price $26.94
% of Intrinsic Value N/A

Telephone & Data Systems, Inc. does not satisfy the requirements of either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the insufficient earnings stability or growth over the last ten years, and the high PEmg ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the net current assets, and 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 $1.28 in 2013 to an estimated $0.47 for 2017. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 24.33% 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 Telephone & Data Systems, Inc. revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $11.65. The company pays a dividend of $0.59 per share, for a yield of 2.2%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 57.16, which was above the industry average of 37.96. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-29.21.

Telephone & Data Systems, Inc. receives an average overall rating in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring a C-.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$29.21
Graham Number $11.65
PEmg 57.16
Current Ratio 2.32
PB Ratio 0.72
Current Dividend $0.59
Dividend Yield 2.20%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 20


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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 12/1/2016
Total Current Assets $2,059,000,000
Total Current Liabilities $887,000,000
Long-Term Debt $2,433,000,000
Total Assets $9,446,000,000
Intangible Assets $2,938,000,000
Total Liabilities $5,301,000,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 111,000,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $0.16
Dec2016 $0.39
Dec2015 $1.98
Dec2014 -$1.26
Dec2013 $1.29
Dec2012 $0.75
Dec2011 $1.83
Dec2010 $1.31
Dec2009 $1.58
Dec2008 $0.74
Dec2007 $2.96
Dec2006 $1.26
Dec2005 $5.12
Dec2004 -$2.03
Dec2003 -$3.38
Dec2002 -$7.56
Dec2001 -$1.42
Dec2000 $16.96
Dec1999 $1.69
Dec1998 $0.47
Dec1997 -$0.10

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $0.47
Dec2016 $0.63
Dec2015 $0.80
Dec2014 $0.41
Dec2013 $1.28
Dec2012 $1.26
Dec2011 $1.57
Dec2010 $1.48
Dec2009 $1.83
Dec2008 $1.83
Dec2007 $1.85
Dec2006 $0.43
Dec2005 -$0.61
Dec2004 -$2.15
Dec2003 -$1.05
Dec2002 $0.75
Dec2001 $4.44

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

None. This is the first time ModernGraham has covered the company.

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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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