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. That advice holds true today.
This is best done by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another company or by reviewing "5 Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor." By using the ModernGraham method one can review a company's historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries.
So let's take a specific look at how Hess (HES) fares in our valuation model. Late Wednesday the stock was trading in the $89 range, up 1.6% for the day.
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 the stock 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. 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 up: a valuation summary.
|MG Opinion||Fairly Valued|
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$95.60|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$56.04|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||2.39%|
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$32.56|
Balance Sheet - 3/31/2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share - ModernGraham analysis
Hess is suitable for both defensive investors and enterprising investors. The defensive investor's only concern is the low current ratio. The enterprising investor will be concerned about the level of debt relative to current assets, but since the company qualifies for defensive investors, it by default also qualifies for enterprising investors.
Value investors following our approach based on Benjamin Graham's methods should feel comfortable proceeding with further research into the company and its competitors, including Chevron (CVX) and Exxon-Mobil (XOM).
From the valuation side of things, the company appears fairly valued, after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $5.38 in 2010 to an estimated $6.59 for 2014. This demonstrated level of growth supports the market's implied estimate of 2.39% earnings growth and leads our valuation model to return an estimate of intrinsic value that falls within a safety margin relative to 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 Hess? Where do you see the company going in the future? Is there a company you like better?
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.!
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.