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10 Low PE Stock Picks for the Defensive Investor – March 2019

There are a number of great companies in the market today. By using the ModernGraham Valuation Model, I’ve selected the ten lowest PEmg (price / normalized earnings) companies reviewed by ModernGraham. Each company has been determined to be undervalued or fairly valued and suitable for the Defensive Investor according to the ModernGraham approach.

Defensive Investors are defined as investors who need to select only the companies that present the least amount of risk. Enterprising Investors, on the other hand, are able to select companies that present a moderate (though still low) amount of risk.

Macy’s Inc (M)

Macy’s Inc qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is only initially concerned with the low current 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 feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Fairly Valued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $3.61 in 2015 to an estimated $3.68 for 2019. This level of demonstrated earnings growth supports the market’s implied estimate of 0.75% annual earnings loss 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 Macy’s Inc revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $39.21. The company pays a dividend of $1.51 per share, for a yield of 5.9%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 7.01, which was below the industry average of 25.4, 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 $-19.38.

Macy’s Inc fares extremely well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring an A-.  (See the full valuation)

Invesco Ltd. (IVZ)

Invesco Ltd. qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. In fact, the company meets all of the requirements of both investor types, a rare accomplishment indicative of the company’s strong financial position . The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.89 in 2014 to an estimated $2.39 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 0.65% annual earnings loss over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Invesco Ltd. revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $33.89. The company pays a dividend of $1.15 per share, for a yield of 6.7%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 7.21, which was below the industry average of 18, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry.

Invesco Ltd. fares extremely well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring an A.  (See the full valuation)

Unum Group (UNM)

Unum Group qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. In fact, the company meets all of the requirements of both investor types, a rare accomplishment indicative of the company’s strong financial position . The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $2.71 in 2015 to an estimated $4.02 for 2019. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 0.17% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Unum Group revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $68.83. The company pays a dividend of $0.98 per share, for a yield of 2.8%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 8.85, which was below the industry average of 32.96, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry.

Unum Group fares extremely well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring an A.  (See the full valuation)

Principal Financial Group Inc (PFG)

Principal Financial Group Inc qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. In fact, the company meets all of the requirements of both investor types, a rare accomplishment indicative of the company’s strong financial position . The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $2.9 in 2014 to an estimated $5.72 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 0.29% annual earnings loss over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Principal Financial Group Inc revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $76.24. The company pays a dividend of $1.87 per share, for a yield of 4.1%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 7.92, which was below the industry average of 30.63, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry.

Principal Financial Group Inc fares extremely well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring an A.  (See the full valuation)

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD)

Gilead Sciences, Inc. qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is only initially concerned with the poor dividend history. The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $3.61 in 2014 to an estimated $6.87 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 0.69% 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 above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Gilead Sciences, Inc. revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $44.37. The company pays a dividend of $2.08 per share, for a yield of 3.1%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 9.88, which was below the industry average of 35.4, 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 $-4.88.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. performs fairly well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring a B+.  (See the full valuation)

Eastman Chemical Company (EMN)

Eastman Chemical Company qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is only initially concerned with the low current ratio. The Enterprising Investor is only concerned with the level of debt relative to the net current assets. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $5.02 in 2014 to an estimated $7.69 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 0.46% 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 above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Eastman Chemical Company revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $86.45. The company pays a dividend of $2.09 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 9.42, which was below the industry average of 20.47, 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 $-47.19.

Eastman Chemical Company fares extremely well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring an A.  (See the full valuation)

Discover Financial Services (DFS)

Discover Financial Services qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. In fact, the company meets all of the requirements of both investor types, a rare accomplishment indicative of the company’s strong financial position . The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $4.87 in 2015 to an estimated $7.09 for 2019. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 0.82% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Discover Financial Services revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $77.91. The company pays a dividend of $1.5 per share, for a yield of 2.1%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 10.13, which was below the industry average of 31.76, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry.

Discover Financial Services fares extremely well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring an A.  (See the full valuation)

Molson Coors Brewing Co Class B (TAP)

Molson Coors Brewing Co Class B qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is only initially concerned with the low current 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 feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $2.97 in 2014 to an estimated $5.89 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 1.12% 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 above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Molson Coors Brewing Co Class B revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $86.77. The company pays a dividend of $1.64 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 10.75, which was below the industry average of 19.84, 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 $-62.64.

Molson Coors Brewing Co Class B fares extremely well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring an A.  (See the full valuation)

AT&T Inc. (T)

AT&T Inc. qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is only initially concerned with the low current 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 feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.89 in 2014 to an estimated $3.06 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 0.53% 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 above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into AT&T Inc. revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $38.89. The company pays a dividend of $1.97 per share, for a yield of 6.7%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 9.56, which was below the industry average of 25.67, 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 $-40.55.

AT&T Inc. fares extremely well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring an A.  (See the full valuation)

Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB)

Fifth Third Bancorp qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. In fact, the company meets all of the requirements of both investor types, a rare accomplishment indicative of the company’s strong financial position . The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.62 in 2014 to an estimated $2.41 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 1.35% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Fifth Third Bancorp revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $36.08. The company pays a dividend of $0.6 per share, for a yield of 2.2%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 11.21, which was below the industry average of 14.65, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry.

Fifth Third Bancorp fares extremely well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring an A.  (See the full valuation)

What do you think?  Are these companies a good value for Defensive Investors?  Is there a company you like better?  Leave a comment on our Facebook page or mention @ModernGraham on Twitter to discuss.

Disclaimer:

The author held a long position in IVZ but did not hold a position in any other 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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