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REITs often attract a great deal of investors because of their strong cash flows and dividends, and those investors often overlook other parts of the business, choosing to analyze the company under a different set of criteria than companies in other sectors. This can create a problem in that it becomes difficult to compare a REIT to an industrial, which is fine if you use the typical top-down approach to stock selection; however, a top-down approach invites speculation in the fact that you are theorizing which sector will perform well going forward.

Benjamin Graham taught that we should avoid speculation as much as possible, which is why it is critical to develop a system for analyzing companies that will allow them to be compared across industries. 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 investment opportunity. By using the ModernGraham method one can review a company's historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries. What follows is a specific look at how Kimco Realty fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

KIM Chart

KIM data by YCharts

Defensive Investor - must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 4/7

  1. Adequate Size of Enterprise - market capitalization of at least $2 billion - PASS
  2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition - current ratio greater than 2 - PASS
  3. Earnings Stability - positive earnings per share for at least 10 straight years - FAIL
  4. Dividend Record - has paid a dividend for at least 10 straight years - PASS
  5. 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 - FAIL
  6. Moderate PEmg ratio - PEmg is less than 20 - FAIL
  7. 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 for a defensive investor: Score = 2/5

  1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 1 - current ratio greater than 1.5 - PASS
  2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 2 - Debt to Net Current Assets ratio less than 1.1 - FAIL
  3. Earnings Stability - positive earnings per share for at least 5 years - FAIL
  4. Dividend Record - currently pays a dividend - PASS
  5. Earnings growth - EPSmg greater than 5 years ago - FAIL

Valuation Summary

Key Data:

Recent Price$22.06
MG OpinionOvervalued
Value Based on 3% Growth$4.29
Value Based on 0% Growth$2.52
Market Implied Growth Rate33.01%
Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)-$10.86
PEmg74.53
Current Ratio2.54
PB Ratio1.95

Balance Sheet - 12/31/2013

Current Assets$581,800,000
Current Liabilities$228,800,000
Total Debt$4,221,400,000
Total Assets$9,663,600,000
Intangible Assets$0
Total Liabilities$5,031,200,000
Outstanding Shares409,730,000

Earnings Per Share

2013$0.47
2012$0.27
2011$0.26
2010$0.19
2009-$0.15
2008$0.69
2007$1.33
2006$1.36
2005$1.40
2004$1.19

Earnings Per Share - ModernGraham

2013$0.30
2012$0.22
2011$0.29
2010$0.43
2009$0.67
2008$1.12

Dividend History

KIM Dividend Chart

KIM Dividend data by YCharts

Conclusion:

Kimco Realty, like many REITs, does not qualify for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is turned away by the lack of earnings stability or growth over the ten year historical period as well as the high PEmg ratio. The Enterprising Investor is turned off by the lack of earnings stability or growth over the 5 year period and the high level of debt relative to the current assets. Value investors seeking to follow the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham's methods should explore opportunities through a review of 5 Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor or 5 Low PEmg Companies for the Enterprising Investor.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be significantly overvalued after seeing a drop in EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $0.67 in 2009 to $0.30 in 2013. This historical performance does not support the market's current implied estimate of 33.01% earnings growth, and leads the ModernGraham valuation model to return an intrinsic value that is well below the market 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 Kimco Realty Corp? Where do you see the company going in the future? Is there a company you like better?

Disclosure: The author did not hold a position in Kimco Realty Corp (NYSE:KIM) or any of the other companies listed in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.

Source: ModernGraham Annual Valuation Of Kimco Realty Corp. - 2014