General Electric (NYSE:GE) will attract many investors due to its strong history of dividend growth. However, Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, taught that the sole factor in investment decisions as the most important aspect to consider is whether the company is trading at a discount relative to its intrinsic value. It is through a thorough fundamental analysis that the investor is able to make a determination about a potential investment's merits. Here is an updated look at how the company fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
The model is inspired by the teachings of Benjamin Graham and considers numerous metrics intended to help the investor reduce risk levels. The first part of the analysis is to determine whether the company is suitable for the very conservative Defensive Investor or the less conservative Enterprising Investor, who is willing to spend a greater amount of time conducting further research.
In addition, Graham strongly suggested that investors avoid speculation in order to remove the subjective elements of emotion. This is best achieved 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.
Defensive Investor - must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 5/7
Enterprising Investor - must pass at least 4 of the following 5 tests or be suitable for a defensive investor: Score = 2/5
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$19.30|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$11.32|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||5.56%|
Balance Sheet - December 2014
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share - ModernGraham
GE Dividend data by YCharts
General Electric does not qualify for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio and the insufficient earnings growth over the last ten years. The Enterprising Investor takes issue with the level of debt relative to the current assets along with the lack of earnings growth over the last five years. As a result, any purchase of the company is made with a speculative nature behind it. That said, any speculator interested in pursuing the company should still proceed to the next part of the analysis, which is a determination of the company's intrinsic value.
With regard to that intrinsic value, the company has seen its EPSmg (normalized earnings) drop from $1.39 in 2010 to only an estimated $1.33 for 2014. This lack of demonstrated growth does not support the market's implied estimate for earnings growth of 5.56% annually over the next 7-10 years. The ModernGraham valuation model therefore returns an estimate of intrinsic value below the current price, indicating the company is overvalued at the present time.
Be sure to check out previous ModernGraham valuations of General Electric in order to have a greater perspective!
This article was written by
Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.