Essex Property Trust Inc Valuation – June 2018 $ESS

Company Profile (excerpt from Reuters): Essex Property Trust, Inc., incorporated on March 11, 1994, is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is engaged primarily in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of predominantly apartment communities, located along the West Coast. Its segments include Southern California, Northern California, Seattle Metro and Other real estate assets. The Company owns all of its interest in its real estate and other investments directly or indirectly through Essex Portfolio, L.P. (the Operating Partnership). As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned or held an interest in 245 communities, aggregating 59,645 apartment homes, excluding the Company’s ownership in preferred equity investments, as well as two operating commercial buildings (totaling approximately 140,564 square feet), and six active development projects with 2,223 apartment homes in various stages of development.

ESS Chart

ESS data by YCharts


Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of ESS – June 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 $15,873,243,402 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 1.31 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
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 225.33% Pass
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 47.11 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 2.43 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 1.31 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 51.76 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 $5.07
MG Growth Estimate 13.27%
MG Value $177.52
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade C
MG Value based on 3% Growth $73.45
MG Value based on 0% Growth $43.06
Market Implied Growth Rate 19.31%
Current Price $238.63
% of Intrinsic Value 134.42%

Essex Property Trust 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, high PEmg ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets. 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 growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $2.69 in 2014 to an estimated $5.07 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 19.31% 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 Essex Property Trust Inc revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $96.67. The company pays a dividend of $7 per share, for a yield of 2.9%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 47.11, which was below the industry average of 49.08, 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 $-86.

Essex Property Trust 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) -$86.00
Graham Number $96.67
PEmg 47.11
Current Ratio 1.31
PB Ratio 2.43
Current Dividend $7.00
Dividend Yield 2.93%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 20

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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 3/1/2018
Total Current Assets $467,395,000
Total Current Liabilities $356,902,000
Long-Term Debt $5,718,970,000
Total Assets $12,642,667,000
Intangible Assets $0
Total Liabilities $6,150,508,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 66,083,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $4.37
Dec2017 $6.57
Dec2016 $6.27
Dec2015 $3.49
Dec2014 $2.06
Dec2013 $4.04
Dec2012 $3.41
Dec2011 $1.24
Dec2010 $1.14
Dec2009 $2.91
Dec2008 $2.09
Dec2007 $4.24
Dec2006 $2.45
Dec2005 $3.32
Dec2004 $3.36
Dec2003 $1.57
Dec2002 $2.60
Dec2001 $2.63
Dec2000 $2.37
Dec1999 $2.36
Dec1998 $1.36

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $5.07
Dec2017 $5.10
Dec2016 $4.20
Dec2015 $3.06
Dec2014 $2.69
Dec2013 $2.85
Dec2012 $2.22
Dec2011 $1.86
Dec2010 $2.30
Dec2009 $2.92
Dec2008 $2.98
Dec2007 $3.28
Dec2006 $2.76
Dec2005 $2.84
Dec2004 $2.57
Dec2003 $2.22
Dec2002 $2.45

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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