In the wake of the great financial crisis, it can sometimes be difficult for Intelligent Investors to find a solid financial company in which to invest, because they require specific achievements over the historical period. Many investors may simply decide to throw out the worst years with the rationale that they are outliers that shouldn't be considered when evaluating the company's prospects, but doing so would involve speculation. We don't know whether the financial crisis will happen again, but we do know that if it does, we can expect to see similar results as we did before. By continuing to require the same standards for the historical period, Intelligent Investors are able to whittle down banks to only those with the best financial position, and then they are able to determine an intrinsic value to get a sense of whether the company is a good investment. In addition, a company must have strong financial statements to prove that it is stable enough for Intelligent Investors. 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 company. 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 The Travelers Companies fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
Defensive Investor - must pass all 6 of the following tests: Score = 6/6
- Adequate Size of Enterprise - Market capitalization of at least $2 billion - PASS
- Earnings Stability - Positive earnings per share for at least 10 straight years - PASS
- Dividend Record - Has paid a dividend for at least 10 straight years - PASS
- Earnings Growth - Earnings per share has increased by at least 1/3 over the last 10 years, using 3-year averages at the beginning and end of the period - PASS
- Moderate PEmg ratio - PEmg is less than 20 - PASS
- Moderate Price to Assets - PB ratio is less than 2.5 or PB x PEmg is less than 50 - PASS
Enterprising Investor - must pass all 3 of the following tests or be suitable for a Defensive Investor: Score = 3/3
- Earnings Stability - Positive earnings per share for at least 5 years - PASS
- Dividend Record - Currently pays a dividend - PASS
- Earnings growth - EPSmg greater than 5 years ago - PASS
|MG Opinion||Fairly Valued|
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$108.57|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$63.64|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||1.95%|
Balance Sheet - 3/31/2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share - ModernGraham
The Travelers Companies is suitable for the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The company passes all of the requirements of both investor types, which is a rare accomplishment. As a result, value investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham's methods should feel comfortable proceeding with further research into the company and comparing the company to other opportunities such as through a review of Aflac Inc. (NYSE:AFL), Chubb Corporation (NYSE:CB) and Unum Group (NYSE:UNM). From a valuation side of things, the company appears fairly valued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $6.19 in 2010 to an estimated $7.49 for 2014. This level of demonstrated growth supports the market's implied estimate of 1.95% earnings growth and leads the ModernGraham valuation model to return an estimate of intrinsic value that falls within a margin of safety relative to the market price.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.