This article originally appeared on The DIV-Net December 14, 2009.
Company Description: Nucor Corporation is engaged in the manufacture and sale of steel and steel products. As the largest minimill steelmaker in the U.S., Nucor has one of the most diverse product lines of any steelmaker in the Americas.
Fair Value: I consider four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:
- Avg. High Yield Price
- 20-Year DCF Price
- Avg. P/E Price
- Graham Number
NUE is trading at a discount to 1.) and 2.) above. The stock is trading at a 46.4% premium to its calculated fair value of $28.85. NUE did not earn any Stars in this section.
Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:
- Free Cash Flow Payout
- Debt To Total Capital
- Key Metrics
- Dividend Growth Rate
- Years of Div. Growth
- Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%
NUE earned three Stars in this section for 1.), 2.) and 3.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. NUE earned a Star for having an acceptable score in at least two of the four Key Metrics measured. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% means that dividends grew on average in excess of 15% for each consecutive 4 year period over the last 10 years (1999-2002, 2000-2003, 2001-2004, etc.) I consider this a key metric since dividends will double every 5 years if they grow by 15%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1973 and has increased its dividend payments for 36 consecutive years.
Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA)? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:
- NPV MMA Diff.
- Years to > MMA
NUE earned a Star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $9,612. This amount is in excess of the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as NUE has. If NUE grows its dividend at 15.0% per year, it will take 1 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.72%. NUE earned a check for the Key Metric ‘Years to >MMA’ since its 1 years is less than the 5 year target.
Other: NUE is a member of the S&P 500 and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index.
Conclusion: NUE did not earn any Stars in the Fair Value section, earned three Stars in the Dividend Analytical Data section and earned one Star in the Dividend Income vs. MMA section for a total of four Stars. This quantitatively ranks NUE as a 4 Star-Buy.
Using my D4L-PreScreen.xls model, I determined the share price would need to increase to $119.43 before NUE’s NPV MMA Differential decreased to the $500 minimum that I look for in a stock with 36 years of consecutive dividend increases. At that price the stock would yield 1.17%.
Resetting the D4L-PreScreen.xls model and solving for the dividend growth rate needed to generate the target $500 NPV MMA Differential, the calculated rate is 5.2%. This dividend growth rate is less than the 15.0% used in this analysis, thus providing a margin of safety. NUE has a risk rating of 1.50 which classifies it as a low risk stock.
NUE has a solid share of the markets in which it competes, a very low ratio of total debt to assets, and a very diverse product mix. The company’s relatively flexible cost structure (pay-for-performance) and low-cost operations have helped mitigate weak demand in the most recent downturn. Recently, the company announced a 2.9% dividend increase. This was much less than the last several years’ increase, but speaks well to management’s confidence in the company’s ability to perform. The stock is currently trading well above my buy price of $28.85. For additional information, including the stock’s dividend history, please refer to its data page.
Disclaimer: Material presented here is for informational purposes only. The above quantitative stock analysis, including the Star rating, is mechanically calculated and is based on historical information. The analysis assumes the stock will perform in the future as it has in the past. This is generally never true. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. See my Disclaimer for more information.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, I was long in NUE (3.5% of my Income Portfolio). What are your thoughts on NUE?