Green Plains Inc Valuation – March 2018 $GPRE

Company Profile (obtained from Marketwatch): Green Plains, Inc. produces fuel-grade ethanol and corn oil, provides grain handling and storage, commodity marketing and distribution services. The company operates through the following segments: Ethanol Production, Partnership, Agribusiness and Energy Services and Food & Food Ingredients. The Ethanol Production segment operates ethanol plants in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Tennessee. The Partnership segment provides fuel storage and transportation services by owning, operating, developing and acquiring ethanol and fuel storage tanks, terminals, transportation assets and other related assets and businesses. The Agribusiness and Energy Services segment includes grain procurement, which markets, sells and distributes ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil produced at ethanol plants. This segment operates through bulk grain business and cattle feedlot operations. The Food & Food Ingredients segment includes a cattle feedlot operations. The company was founded in June 2004 and is headquartered in Omaha, NE.

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Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of GPRE – March 2018

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 $771,791,362 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 1.36 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 -65.56% Fail
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 35.20 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 0.97 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 1.36 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 2.40 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 $0.53
MG Growth Estimate -4.25%
MG Value $0.00
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade D
MG Value based on 3% Growth $7.72
MG Value based on 0% Growth $4.53
Market Implied Growth Rate 13.35%
Current Price $18.75
% of Intrinsic Value N/A

Green Plains Inc does not satisfy the requirements of either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the small size, low current ratio, insufficient earnings stability or growth over the last ten years, and the poor dividend history, and the high PEmg ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the 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 $1.97 in 2014 to an estimated $0.53 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 13.35% 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 Green Plains 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 2.6%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 35.2, which was above the industry average of 31.55. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-13.01.

Green Plains 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) -$13.01
Graham Number $0.00
PEmg 35.20
Current Ratio 1.36
PB Ratio 0.97
Current Dividend $0.48
Dividend Yield 2.56%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 5

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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 12/1/2017
Total Current Assets $1,206,471,000
Total Current Liabilities $886,261,000
Long-Term Debt $767,396,000
Total Assets $2,784,650,000
Intangible Assets $182,879,000
Total Liabilities $1,842,468,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 48,881,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate -$0.61
Dec2017 $1.47
Dec2016 $0.28
Dec2015 $0.18
Dec2014 $3.96
Dec2013 $1.26
Dec2012 $0.39
Dec2011 $1.01
Dec2010 $1.51
Dec2009 $0.79
Nov2007 -$1.18
Nov2006 $0.19
Nov2005 -$0.42

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $0.53
Dec2017 $1.21
Dec2016 $1.13
Dec2015 $1.49
Dec2014 $1.97
Dec2013 $0.98
Dec2012 $0.73
Dec2011 $0.75
Dec2010 $0.48
Dec2009 -$0.07
Nov2007 -$0.43
Nov2006 -$0.05
Nov2005 -$0.14

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

Green Plains Inc Valuation – Initial Coverage $GPRE

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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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