NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Benjamin Graham taught that intelligent investors must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine their intrinsic value and inherent risk. By using our ModernGraham method one can review a company's historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries.
In our view, there are two types of investors: defensive (more conservative, less able to conduct research) and enterprising (more willing to take risk and conduct research). Any stock suitable for a defensive investor is also appropriate for an enterprising investor. Let's look at how the stock fares for each type of investor.
Defensive Investor -- must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 6/7
Adequate Size of Enterprise -- market capitalization of at least $2 billion -- PASS
Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition -- current ratio greater than 2 -- FAIL
Earnings Stability -- positive earnings per share for at least 10 straight years -- PASS
Dividend Record -- has paid a dividend for at least 10 straight years -- PASS
Earnings Growth -- earnings per share has increased by at least 1/3 over the last 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end of period -- PASS
Moderate PEmg ratio -- PEmg is less than 20 -- PASS
Moderate Price to Assets -- PB ratio is less than 2.5 or PB x PEmg is less than 50 -- PASS
Enterprising Investor -- must pass at least 4 of the following 5 tests or be suitable for a defensive investor: Score = 3/5
Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 1 -- current ratio greater than 1.5 -- FAIL
Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 2 -- Debt to Net Current Assets ratio less than 1.1 -- FAIL
Earnings Stability -- positive earnings per share for at least 5 years -- PASS
Dividend Record -- currently pays a dividend -- PASS
Earnings growth -- EPSmg greater than 5 years ago -- PASS
Next let's consider the stock's valuation.
Value Based on 3% Growth
Value Based on 0% Growth
Market Implied Growth Rate
Balance Sheet -- 3/31/2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share -- ModernGraham
UnitedHealth Group is suitable for both defensive investors and enterprising investors. The company passes all of the defensive investor's requirements except the current ratio, and although the enterprising investor should be a bit concerned with the high level of debt relative to current assets, the company qualifies for both investor types. As a result, value investors should feel comfortable proceeding with further research into the company and its competitors.
From the valuation side of things, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $3.36 in 2010 to an estimated $5.24 in 2014. This level of demonstrated growth exceeds the market's implied estimate of 3.11% earnings growth and leads us to calculate an estimate of intrinsic value that is well above the price.
The next part of the analysis is up to individual investors, and requires discussion of the company's prospects.
What do you think? What value would you put on UnitedHealth? Where do you see the company going in the future? Is there a company you like better? Leave a comment on our Facebook page or mention @ModernGraham on Twitter to discuss.
If you like our valuations, why not check out ModernGraham Stocks & Screens? It's a great way to review the valuations while screening for things like low PE ratio, undervalued companies, etc.!
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At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.