Medical Stocks

VCA Inc Valuation – Initial Coverage $WOOF

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 Undervalued Stocks for the Enterprising Investor – August 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 VCA Inc (WOOF) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): VCA Inc. is an animal healthcare company operating in the United States and Canada. The Company operates through five segments: animal hospitals (Animal Hospital), veterinary diagnostic laboratories (Laboratory), veterinary medical technology (Medical Technology), Vetstreet and Camp Bow Wow Franchising, Inc. (Camp Bow Wow). Its Animal Hospital segment provides veterinary services for companion animals and sells related retail and pharmaceutical products. Its Laboratory segment provides diagnostic laboratory testing services for veterinarians. Its Medical Technology segment sells digital radiography and ultrasound imaging equipment; provides education and training on the use of that equipment; provides consulting and mobile imaging services, and sells software and ancillary services to the veterinary market. Its Vetstreet segment provides a range of services to the veterinary community. Its Camp Bow Wow business franchises a provider of pet services.

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Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of WOOF – September 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 $7,555,648,757 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 1.01 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
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 86.67% Pass
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 37.16 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 4.76 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 1.01 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 315.42 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 5 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Currently Pays Dividend Fail
5. Earnings Growth EPSmg greater than 5 years ago Pass

Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $2.50
MG Growth Estimate 15.00%
MG Value $96.33
Opinion Fairly Valued
MG Grade D+
MG Value based on 3% Growth $36.28
MG Value based on 0% Growth $21.27
Market Implied Growth Rate 14.33%
Current Price $92.97
% of Intrinsic Value 96.51%

VCA 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, 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 dividends.  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 Fairly Valued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.14 in 2013 to an estimated $2.5 for 2017.  This level of demonstrated earnings growth supports the market’s implied estimate of 14.33% 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 within a margin of safety relative to the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into VCA Inc revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $34.97.  The company does not pay a dividend.  Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 37.16, which was below the industry average of 37.66, 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 $-19.77.

VCA 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) -$19.77
Graham Number $34.97
PEmg 37.16
Current Ratio 1.01
PB Ratio 4.76
Current Dividend $0.00
Dividend Yield 0.00%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 0

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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 6/1/2017
Total Current Assets $304,637,000
Total Current Liabilities $300,435,000
Long-Term Debt $1,325,411,000
Total Assets $3,537,725,000
Intangible Assets $2,471,423,000
Total Liabilities $1,930,538,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 82,228,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $3.00
Dec2016 $2.56
Dec2015 $2.56
Dec2014 $1.54
Dec2013 $1.53
Dec2012 $0.51
Dec2011 $1.09
Dec2010 $1.27
Dec2009 $1.53
Dec2008 $1.55
Dec2007 $1.41
Dec2006 $1.24
Dec2005 $0.81
Dec2004 $0.76
Dec2003 $0.53
Dec2002 $0.28
Dec2001 -$1.19
Dec2000 -$0.03
Dec1999 $0.04

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $2.50
Dec2016 $2.08
Dec2015 $1.71
Dec2014 $1.25
Dec2013 $1.14
Dec2012 $1.02
Dec2011 $1.31
Dec2010 $1.41
Dec2009 $1.42
Dec2008 $1.30
Dec2007 $1.10
Dec2006 $0.87
Dec2005 $0.54
Dec2004 $0.29
Dec2003 $0.01
Dec2002 -$0.23
Dec2001 -$0.40

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

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

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Disclaimer:

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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