When looking for value-priced stocks, the Price-To-Book (P/B) ratio is one that I like to focus on. P/B is calculated as share price divided by book value per share. Book value is most often calculated as Assets less Liabilities.
Some people conservatively calculate book value as Assets less Intangibles less Liabilities. I prefer the latter since it excludes goodwill and other intangibles which might be difficult to recover in a liquidation, and that is what is used in the calculations below.
P/B is similar to yield, in that when it is at an extreme you have to question why it is there. If you determine it is the result of an irrational market movement, a purchase could result in both a higher yield and significant future capital appreciation.
A low P/B ratio could indicate a stock is undervalued or distressed. Since GAAP accounting is mostly based on historical cost, a viable growing company will normally be worth more than its book value. However, there are times when good companies will be punished along with the bad. It is our job as investors to separate the good companies from those that have fundamental problems.
This week week, I screened my dividend growth stocks database for stocks with a P/B of 1.5 or lower, 10 or more years of dividend increases and with a dividend yield at or above 4%. The results are presented below:
Universal Corporation (NYSE:UVV)
Yield: 4.2% | Years of Growth: 42 | P/B: 1.00
Universal Corporation, a leaf tobacco merchant and processor, buys, processes, packs, stores, ships, and finances leaf tobacco for sale to manufacturers of consumer tobacco products.
WGL Holdings Inc. (NYSE:WGL)
Yield: 4.3% | Years of Growth: 36 | P/B: 1.46
WGL Holdings Inc. provides natural gas service in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area and surrounding regions, including Maryland and Virginia.
Cincinnati Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CINF)
Yield: 4.2% | Years of Growth: 52 | P/B: 1.23
Cincinnati Financial Corp. is an insurance holding company that primarily markets property and casualty coverage. It also conducts life insurance and asset management operations.
Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE:ED)
Yield: 4.4% | Years of Growth: 39 | P/B: 1.45
Consolidated Edison, Inc. is an electric and gas utility holding company serves parts of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA)
Yield: 5.0% | Years of Growth: 10 | P/B: 1.19
Avista Corp. generates, transmits and distributes energy as well as engages in energy-related businesses. The company operates in two business segments.
National Retail Properties, Inc. (NYSE:NNN)
Yield: 5.2% | Years of Growth: 21 | P/B: 1.47
National Retail Properties, Inc. is an equity real estate investment trust that invests in high-quality, freestanding retail properties subject to long-term net leases with major retail tenants.
Mercury General C Corp. (NYSE:MCY)
Yield: 6.2% | Years of Growth: 25 | P/B: 1.22
Mercury General Corp. is an insurance holding company, operating primarily in California, writes a full line of automobile coverage for all classifications of risk.
Senior Housing Properties Trust (NYSE:SNH)
Yield: 7.0% | Years of Growth: 11 | P/B: 1.50
Senior Housing Properties Trust, a real estate investment trust (REIT), primarily invests in senior housing properties.
Old Republic International (NYSE:ORI)
Yield: 7.1% | Years of Growth: 31 | P/B: 0.70
Old Republic Intl writes property and liability, mortgage guaranty, title and life, and disability insurance.
As with past screens, the data presented above is in its raw form. Some of the the companies would be disqualified for poor dividend fundamentals. However some of the others may be worth additional due diligence.
Disclosure: Long CINF, ED, NNN in my Dividend Growth Portfolio and AVA, MCY, SNH in my High-Yield Portfolio. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.