NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ben Graham wins again. The father of value investing may have passed away in 1976, and his investment theories and techniques may be seen by some as antiquated, but the proof is in the pudding.
This time last year, I repeated a stock screen that I run quite often based on Graham's techniques for the "defensive investor," which appeared in The Intelligent Investor, originally published in 1949.
The screening criteria are as follows:
Adequate Size -- Graham excluded smaller companies; I've set the minimum market cap at $1 billion.
- Strong Financial Condition -- Minimum current ratio of 2; long-term debt must be less than working capital.
- Earnings Stability -- Graham required positive earnings for at least 10 consecutive years: I am using seven years.
- Dividends -- Graham required uninterrupted dividends for at least 20 years; I am using seven years here, as well.
- Earnings Growth -- Graham sought a minimum increase of 33% in earnings per share during the past 10 years; I am using a minimum compounded annual growth rate in earnings of 5% over seven years.
- Moderate Price-to-Earnings Ratio -- Average P/E ratios should be less than 15 over the past three years.
- Moderate Ratio of Price to Assets -- Graham sought companies with price-to-book ratios below 1.5, but would accept a higher P/E ratio, if price to book was lower. This end result was that P/E times price-to-book ratio should be less than 22.5.
- Other -- U.S. companies only; I excluded foreign companies and American depository receipts (ADRs) from the results.