We live in the Age of Information, where small investors can get an amazing amount of data on publicly traded stocks, just by clicking a mouse or touching a touchpad. But sometimes, it looks like the Age of Misinformation.
Espy Mfg., (ESP), is a good case in point. Many of the finance websites that list a stock's dividend history are overlooking something significant for Espy - a big special dividend that they've been paying out in December since 2008.
Consequently, many sites show Espy's dividend yield as being below 4%, when it's actually ranged from around 8% to well over 12% since 2008. The table below simply uses the year ending stock prices to determine dividend yield, but you could check on the yearly price ranges to come up with more data. 2008 also had another special dividend in March, which hasn't been repeated:
Even Yahoo, which has Espy's dividend history correct, shows a current yield of only 3.60%. Why are the sites listing it incorrectly? Because it's a "special dividend," and there's no guarantee of it happening each year.
So, will the company pay it again in 2012? The special dividend is based on financial results for the most recent fiscal year, which ends on June 30, and capital requirements for the current year. It's supported its dividends by paying out 90% of earnings and also using some Retained Earnings. Management prefers to reward shareholders, by utilizing some retained earnings, instead of earning next to nothing on this excess cash.
Judging by Espy's earnings and current record order backlog, prospects look good for another $1.00 dividend in 2012, particularly as ESP already ramped up its manufacturing capabilities last year in order to meet increasing demand. ESP's order backlog grew by over 31% for its fiscal year ending 6/31/12, to $50.8 million.
Earnings Growth: Using the 2 lowest past Order Backlog-to-Sales Conversion rates, and the lowest Net EPS %, we came up with a fiscal 2013 EPS range for Espy of $2.17 to $2.43:
These 2 estimates translate into a 2013 PEG ratio ranging from a very low .55, up to 1.34.
Technical Buy Signal: In addition to most likely being undervalued on a PEG and P/Book basis, ESP just crossed above the oversold line on its Stochastic chart, which is seen as a buy signal by technical analysts:
Options: There are no call options or put options available for ESP.
Financials/Valuations: Excepting ROE, Espy's ratios outshine the Defense industry averages, and it also looks undervalued on a Price/Book basis.
Company Profile: Espey Mfg. & Electronics Corp, located in Saratoga Springs, NY, is a Power Electronics Design and Original Equipment Manufacturing company with a long history of developing and delivering highly reliable products for use in military and severe environment applications.
Espey's primary products are power supplies, power converters, filters, power transformers, magnetic components, power distribution equipment, ups systems, antennas and high power radar systems. The applications of these products include AC and DC locomotives, shipboard power, shipboard radar, Airborne power, ground-based radar, and ground mobile power.
Espey is on the eligible list of contractors on the United States Department of Defense and generally is automatically solicited by such agencies for procurement needs falling within the major classes of products produced by the company. (Source: Espy website)
Disclaimer: This article is written for informational purposes only and isn't intended as investment advice.
Disclosure: I am long ESP.