This column was originally published on RealMoney on Sept. 6 at 10:28 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
From boats to bowling,
is making waves and throwing strikes. The company's product lines includes Mercury boat engines, bowling and billiards equipment, Life Fitness and Hammer Strength fitness equipment, Brunswick bowling centers and a variety of boat nameplates, including Crestliner, Lowe, Lund, Triton, Albemarle, Sea Pro and Sea Boss. The company has been acquiring boat product lines during the past two years.
Brunswick recently reported that sales increased 12.4% and 14.4% in the second quarter and six-month period ended June 30 to $1.6 billion and $3.0 billion, respectively. Acquisitions played a role, accounting for approximately 20% and 30% of the sales gain. Diluted EPS rose 23.7% for the second quarter and 47.6% for the six-month period.
With its stock trading around $43, the company is doing well, is aggressively making acquisitions and -- most importantly -- two guru strategies indicate that Brunswick will continue to knock down pin after pin.
The John Neff Strategy
Brunswick bowled a strike with the strategy I base on the writings of John Neff. Neff's strategy looks for a stock to have a price-to-earnings ratio between 40% and 60% below the market P/E, which is 21 for the
. Brunswick's P/E is 12.6, which is 41.6% below the market's average and within the range this strategy desires.
The company pays a 60-cent dividend, and for dividend payers, Neff's strategy likes to see a historical earnings growth rate between 7% and 20%. Brunswick's just fits, being 19.8%, based on the average of the three-, four- and five-year historical EPS growth rates.
The historical growth rate for a Neff strategy approval should be confirmed by the consensus future-growth estimate of analysts for both the current fiscal year and the long term. As a result, both growth rates must be greater than 6% for dividend-paying stocks. The projected EPS growth rate for Brunswick is 22.4% for the current year and 12.3% for the long term.
Sales growth must be either greater than 7% or at least 70% of EPS growth under the Neff methodology. Brunswick's sales growth is 10.6%, based on the average of the three-, four- and five-year historical sales growth rates.
This strategy prefers stocks whose total return (EPS growth plus yield) divided by the P/E ratio is at least double that of the market or of the company's industry. Brunswick's total return-P/E ratio, which is 1.73, is acceptable because it is more than double the market average total return-P/E ratio of 0.65.
Free cash flow gives a company many options to pay dividends, buy back stock or acquire other companies, which is why the Neff strategy likes free cash flow to be positive. This is the case for Brunswick and its $1.91 free cash flow.
The Peter Lynch Strategy
Brunswick is considered a "true stalwart," based on my understanding of Peter Lynch's strategy, because its earnings growth of 19.77% lies within the 10%-19% growth range and its annual sales of $5.6 billion are greater than the multi-billion-dollar level. This methodology looks for the "stalwart" securities to gain 30% to 50% in value over a two-year period if they can be purchased at an attractive price based on the P/E-to-growth ratio.
When inventories increase faster than sales, it's a red flag under the Lynch strategy. That's not a problem for Brunswick, whose inventory-to-sales ratio has stayed essentially the same.
The yield-adjusted P/E/G (P/E-to-growth) ratio for Brunswick, 0.58, based on the average of the three-, four- and five-year historical EPS growth rates, is acceptable. That's because this strategy looks for the ratio to be 1.0 or less.
The EPS for a stalwart company must be positive, which holds true for Brunswick, as its EPS is $3.46.
This methodology considers Brunswick's debt-to-equity ratio of 38.00% to be normal.
Brunswick is doing well, its product line has plenty of well-known brand names and two guru strategies like it. I expect it to continue its winning streak.
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John P. Reese is founder and CEO of Validea.com, an Internet investment research and stock analysis firm selected as one of Forbes Best 100 sites on the Web. He is also co-author of
The Market Gurus: Stock Investing Strategies You Can Use From Wall Street's Best
. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Reese appreciates your feedback.
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