5 Undervalued Companies In The S&P 500 - April 2018

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Includes: CMCSA, NSC, NWL, SIG, UNM
by: Benjamin Clark

Summary

These companies are all rated as suitable for the Defensive Investor and/or the Enterprising Investor following the ModernGraham approach.

All five are found to be significantly undervalued according to the ModernGraham valuation model.

The companies are among the most undervalued of all of the S&P 500.

There are a number of great companies in the market today. By using the ModernGraham Valuation Model, I've selected some of the most undervalued companies of the S&P 500. The ModernGraham model is based on the full teachings of Benjamin Graham. All of these companies are suitable for the Defensive Investor and/or the Enterprising Investor.

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. Each company suitable for the Defensive Investor is also suitable for Enterprising Investors.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC)

Norfolk Southern Corp. qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is only initially concerned with the low current ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings defined in more detail here) from $5.81 in 2014 to an estimated $16.62 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market's implied estimate of 0.14% annual earnings loss over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Norfolk Southern Corp. revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $101.73. The company pays a dividend of $2.44 per share, for a yield of 1.8%. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share - ModernGraham) was 8.21, which was below the industry average of 25.23, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-59.82.

Newell Brands Inc. (NWL)

Newell Brands Inc. qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is only initially concerned with the low current ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg from $1.28 in 2014 to an estimated $2.89 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market's implied estimate of 0.48% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Newell Brands Inc. revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $41.25. The company pays a dividend of $0.88 per share, for a yield of 3.2%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg was 9.46, which was below the industry average of 20.37, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its NCAV of $-26.44.

Signet Jewelers Ltd. (SIG)

Signet Jewelers Ltd. is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the insufficient earnings stability or growth over the last ten years, and the poor dividend history. The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg from $3.86 in 2014 to an estimated $6.07 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market's implied estimate of 0.22% annual earnings loss over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Signet Jewelers Ltd. revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $61.99. The company pays a dividend of $1.04 per share, for a yield of 2.1%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg was 8.06, which was below the industry average of 30.22, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its NCAV of $-3.32.

Comcast Corporation (CMCSA)

Comcast Corporation qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is only initially concerned with the low current ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg from $1.25 in 2014 to an estimated $2.67 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market's implied estimate of 2.58% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Comcast Corporation revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $26.79. The company pays a dividend of $0.63 per share, for a yield of 1.7%. Its PEmg was 13.67, which was below the industry average of 35.9, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its NCAV of $-21.64.

Unum Group (UNM)

Unum Group qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. In fact, the company meets all of the requirements of both investor types, a rare accomplishment indicative of the company's strong financial position. The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg from $2.31 in 2014 to an estimated $4.21 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market's implied estimate of 1.44% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Unum Group revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $69.92. The company pays a dividend of $0.86 per share, for a yield of 1.8%. Its PEmg was 11.39, which was below the industry average of 22.6, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry.

Disclosure: I/we 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 (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: See a list of my current holdings on ModernGraham.com. This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions. ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner. Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer on ModernGraham.com.