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Uniti Group Inc Valuation – August 2018 $UNIT

Company Profile (excerpt from Reuters): Uniti Group Inc., formerly Communications Sales & Leasing, Inc., incorporated on September 04, 2014, is an internally managed real estate investment trust (REIT) engaged in the acquisition and construction of infrastructure in the communications industry. The Company focuses on acquiring and constructing fiber optic broadband networks, wireless communications towers, copper and coaxial broadband networks and data centers. The Company operates through four segments: Leasing, Fiber Infrastructure, Towers and Consumer Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (Consumer CLEC). The Leasing segment includes Uniti Leasing. The Fiber Infrastructure segment represents the operations of the Uniti Fiber business. The Towers segment includes Uniti Towers and its ground lease investments. The Consumer CLEC segment includes Talk America. As of Juy 3, 2017, the Company and its subsidiaries owned approximately 88,100 fiber network route miles, representing approximately 4.8 million fiber strand miles and approximately 231,900 route miles of copper cable lines across 32 states.

 

Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of UNIT – August 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 $3,615,638,673 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 0.16 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 -633.33% Fail
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 3,087.00 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 -2.79 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 0.16 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 -6.38 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 $0.01
MG Growth Estimate -4.25%
MG Value $0.00
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade D
MG Value based on 3% Growth $0.10
MG Value based on 0% Growth $0.06
Market Implied Growth Rate 1539.25%
Current Price $20.58
% of Intrinsic Value N/A

Uniti Group 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, insufficient earnings stability or growth over the last ten years, and the 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 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 $0.23 in 2014 to an estimated $0.01 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 1539.25% 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 Uniti Group Inc revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $0. The company pays a dividend of $2.4 per share, for a yield of 11.7%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 3087, which was above the industry average of 47.15. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-32.1.

Uniti Group 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) -$32.10
Graham Number $0.00
PEmg 3,087.00
Current Ratio 0.16
PB Ratio -2.79
Current Dividend $2.40
Dividend Yield 11.66%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 2

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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 6/1/2018
Total Current Assets $143,137,000
Total Current Liabilities $876,338,000
Long-Term Debt $4,679,304,000
Total Assets $4,471,658,000
Intangible Assets $1,097,605,000
Total Liabilities $5,761,451,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 175,011,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $0.01
Dec2017 -$0.13
Dec2016 -$0.04
Dec2015 $0.00
Dec2014 $0.69

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $0.01
Dec2017 $0.04
Dec2016 $0.12
Dec2015 $0.18
Dec2014 $0.23

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

Communications Sales & Leasing Valuation – Initial Coverage $CSAL

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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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