There are a number of great companies in the market today. By using the ModernGraham Valuation Model, I've selected five of the companies reviewed by ModernGraham that have the lowest PEmg ratio (P/E ratio based on normalized earnings). Each company has been determined to be suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor according to the ModernGraham approach. 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.
Investors should keep in mind the 7 Key Tips to Value Investing while proceeding with further research of all of the following companies:
AFLAC Inc. (AFL) - AFLAC is a very attractive company passing all of the requirements for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The company has a strong balance sheet, good dividend history and solid earnings growth. Defensive Investors and Enterprising Investors should feel very comfortable continuing with their research into the company. From a valuation standpoint, the strong earnings growth from an EPSmg (normalized earnings) of $2.91 in 2008 to an estimated $5.56 in 2013. Such growth far outpaces the 1.71% the market is implying. The company appears significantly undervalued by the ModernGraham valuation model.
Chevron Corp (CVX) - Chevron passes almost all of the tests for both the defensive and enterprising intelligent investors, with the sole exception being that its current ratio is not quite strong enough for the defensive investor. As a result, Chevron deserves more thorough research from potential investors. It also appears the company may be undervalued due to very high earnings growth over the last few years that may not be adequately reflected by the market.
Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Exxon Mobil is a very attractive company at its current price and has strong financials that pass the tests for both the defensive and enterprising investor. The company's earnings growth has been a little uneven from year to year, but the normalized earnings definitely are showing growth. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model indicates the company may be slightly undervalued. Investors should take the time to look further at Exxon Mobil to determine if it fits the needs of individual portfolios, but overall it appears there is an opportunity here.
Ford Motor Co. (F) - Ford Motor Company has improved its situation considerably since ModernGraham last reviewed the company in 2009. Since then, earnings have grown consistently, and the company now appears suitable for the Enterprising Investor who is able to take on more risk than his Defensive Investor cohort. The company fails to pass all of the requirements of the Defensive Investor because its current ratio is not high enough and has not consistently paid a dividend for over 10 years (the company took suspended dividends from 2007 to 2011). From a valuation standpoint, the company fares very well as a result of the EPSmg (normalized earnings) growth from -$3.60 in 2008 to an estimated $2.07 for 2013. This is significant growth and far outpaces the negative growth implied by the market at this time. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model finds Ford Motor Company to be undervalued.
National Presto Industries (NPK) - National Presto Industries is one of my personal favorite companies. The balance sheet is amazingly strong with a current ratio of 5.01 and no long-term debt. The company passes all of the requirements of the Defensive Investor, with the exception the market cap is lower than the Defensive Investor would prefer. The company also passes all of the requirements of the Enterprising Investor, except the earnings growth over the last five years has slowed, giving a slight pause to Enterprising Investors. However, as it stands now the company remains suitable to both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor, and they should feel comfortable continuing with further research of the company. From a valuation standpoint, National Presto Industries appears overvalued at this time based on the ModernGraham valuation model. The market is implying a growth rate of only 1.7%, but the historical earnings growth does not quite support that. While earnings are well above where they were ten years ago, it would be nice if the company could return to the levels of 2009-10. As a result, Defensive Investors and Enterprising Investors should keep a close eye on National Presto Industries to see if the price comes down to a more attractive point or if the earnings rise to improve the valuation.