Company Profile (excerpt from Reuters): L3 Technologies, Inc., formerly L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc., incorporated on March 20, 1997, is a prime contractor in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, aircraft sustainment, simulation and training, night vision and image intensification equipment and security and detection systems. The Company provides a broad range of communication and electronic systems and products used on military and commercial platforms. It operates through four segments: Electronic Systems, Aerospace Systems, Communication Systems and Sensor Systems. The Company’s customers include the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and its prime contractors, the United States Government intelligence agencies, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), foreign governments, and domestic and international commercial customers.
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Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?
|Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.|
|1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise||Market Cap > $2Bil||$16,312,039,364||Pass|
|2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Current Ratio > 2||1.87||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||5.70%||Fail|
|6. Moderate PEmg Ratio||PEmg < 20||29.30||Fail|
|7. Moderate Price to Assets||PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50||3.27||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||1.87||Pass|
|2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Debt to NCA < 1.1||1.61||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
|MG Growth Estimate||-1.79%|
|MG Value based on 3% Growth||$103.18|
|MG Value based on 0% Growth||$60.49|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||10.40%|
|% of Intrinsic Value||595.52%|
L3 Technologies 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, and the high PEmg and PB ratios. 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 $8.08 in 2014 to an estimated $7.12 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 10.4% 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 L3 Technologies revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $113.74. The company pays a dividend of $3 per share, for a yield of 1.4% Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 29.3, which was below the industry average of 44.37, 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 $-40.18.
L3 Technologies 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)||-$40.18|
|Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth||14|
|ModernGraham tagged articles||Morningstar|
|Google Finance||MSN Money|
|Yahoo Finance||Seeking Alpha|
Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures
|Balance Sheet Information||12/1/2017|
|Total Current Assets||$4,448,000,000|
|Total Current Liabilities||$2,379,000,000|
|Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average)||79,600,000|
Earnings Per Share History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$8.81|
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$7.12|
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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.