Best Stocks Below Their Graham Number – Tuesday, April 10

One popular approach to investing based on Benjamin Graham’s methods is to use the so-called “Graham Number.”  There are some important differences between the Graham Number and the Graham Formula, but using the Graham Number is definitely useful even if the investor only uses it as a screening tactic.

I’ve selected the best companies reviewed by ModernGraham which trade below their Graham Number.  The companies selected all are found suitable for the Defensive Investor and/or the Enterprising Investor, and have been valued as undervalued based on the ModernGraham valuation model.  The full list can be found in the latest issue of my monthly Stocks & Screens report; however, to cut down on the length of the post, I’ve selected the ten which trade furthest below their Graham Number.

Defensive Investors are defined as investors who are not able or willing to do substantial research into individual investments, and therefore need to select only the companies that present the least amount of risk. Enterprising Investors, on the other hand, are able to do substantial research and can select companies that present a moderate (though still low) amount of risk. Each company suitable for the Defensive Investor is also suitable for Enterprising Investors.

These companies have demonstrated strong financial positions through passing the rigorous requirements of the ModernGraham Investor and show potential for capital growth based on their current price in relation to intrinsic value.  As such, these graham number stocks may be a great investment if they prove to be suitable for your portfolio after your own additional research.

Lincoln National Corporation (LNC)

Lincoln National Corporation is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the insufficient earnings stability over the last ten years. The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all Enterprising 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 $4.25 in 2014 to an estimated $7.21 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 1.03% 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 Lincoln National Corporation revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $121.79. The company pays a dividend of $0.87 per share, for a yield of 1.1% Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 10.56, which was below the industry average of 20.16, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry.(See the full valuation)

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Signet Jewelers Ltd. (SIG)

Signet Jewelers Ltd. is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the insufficient earnings stability or growth over the last ten years, and the poor dividend history. The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all Enterprising 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 $3.86 in 2014 to an estimated $6.07 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 0.22% 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 above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Signet Jewelers Ltd. revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $61.99. The company pays a dividend of $1.04 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 8.06, which was below the industry average of 30.22, 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 $-3.32.(See the full valuation)

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Disclaimer: The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing those holdings within the next 72 hours. This ...

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