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Companies

  • What company valuation did you ask for this Easter?

    Roger Montgomery
    April 1, 2010

    Heading into Easter, I received an enormous pile of valuation requests and while many were little mining explorers burning through $500,000 of cash per month and with just $3 million in the bank, quite a few were solid companies that hadn’t been covered before.

    And to confess, some of the requests were quite rightly keeping me accountable and making sure I post the company valuations I said I would, when I have appeared on Sky Business with either Nina May, Ricardo Goncalves and Peter Switzer.

    What are they, I hear you ask? Forge Group (FGE), Grange Resources (GRR), Arrow Energy (AOE), Cabcharge (CAB), Coca Cola (CCL), Data 3 (DTL), Hutchison (HTA), Incitec Pivot (IPL), Metcash (MTS), Sedgeman (SDM) and UXC (UXC)

    I am really impressed by the frequency with which I am now receiving emails containing insights I didn’t know about companies that I have covered.

    As a fund manager it was not unusual for me to adopt Phil Fisher’s ‘scuttlebutt’ approach to investing. By way of background, Warren Buffett has previously described his approach to investing as 85 per cent Ben Graham and 15 per cent Phil Fisher. Fisher advocated scuttlebutt – talking to staff, to customers and to competitors.  I did the same and would often end my interview of a company’s CEO or CFO with I’d learned from reading Lynch; “if I handed you a gun with one silver bullet, which one of your competitors would you get rid of?” The answers were always revealing. Sometimes I would get; “there’s noone worth wasting a silver bullet on”, but most of the time, I would find out a lot more about the competitive landscape than I had bargained for. Occasionally, I would learn that there was another company I really should be researching.

    Back to your insights, they are amazing. Now you know why I enjoy sharing my own insights and valuations with you as much as I enjoy the process of investing.

    One thought for you; Many of you are sending your best work via email. I would really like to see everyone benefit from the knowledge and experiences you all have so hit reply and if you have some insights (as opposed to an opinion), just click on ‘REPLY’ at the bottom of this post and leave as much information as you would like.

    So here are a few more valuations to ponder over Easter. I hope they add another dimension to your research. And before you go calling me about coal seam gas hopeful Arrow Energy, note that the valuation is a 2009 valuation based on actual results. The forecasts for Arrow for the next two years are for losses, and using my model, a company earning nothing is worth nothing. Of course Royal Dutch Shell and Petro China think its worth more and perhaps to them it is, but as a going concern its worth a lot less for some time to a passive investor.


    I hope you are enjoying the Easter break and look forward to reading and replying to your insights.

    Posted by Roger Montgomery, 1 April 2010

    by Roger Montgomery Posted in Companies, Consumer discretionary, Health Care, Insightful Insights.
  • Which businesses excel in the business of wellbeing?

    Roger Montgomery
    March 25, 2010

    I am guessing from the many emails I received this week about healthcare stocks that the quantity may have something to do with the sector being in the headlines (remember it is an election year)?

    Government numbers show that spending on healthcare is expected to nearly double as a proportion of GDP over the next 40 years. With fewer babies being born and people living longer, it is inevitable that the population is ageing. In the next thirty years, the proportion of the population aged over 65 will double to 22% and in the next forty years, the number of Australian’s aged 85 and over is expected to increase from 1.8% of the population to 5.1%.

    Government estimates show that this will exact a heavy toll on the cost of providing health and the following chart reveals where those costs for the government and opportunities for healthcare companies lie.

    Using government estimates for GDP growth, the above charts suggests the government will spend $38 billion on medicare and $68 billion on the PBS in 2040. Figures such as these have provided the large community of buy-and-hold investors with a sound investment theme to pursue. But in some cases this theme has led to some extremely irrational pricing, as we will discover.

    There are more than 20 healthcare stocks listed on the ASX that essentially fall into two categories.

    1. The provision of care and related services. This can mean pathology companies such as Sonic Healthcare, private hospitals such as Ramsay Healthcare, and providers of specialist ancillary services, such as software provider iSoft.

    2. Research and development. This can mean companies that produce generic pharmaceuticals, such as Sigma, or research into and development of cancer drugs, such as Sirtex.

    Like another exploratory industry, the mining sector, the size of these companies can vary from the very small, such as Capitol Health with a market cap of just $15 million, to global blood products and plasma giant CSL, which has a market cap of about $20 billion.

    The ideal combination of characteristics for a healthcare company that an investor would seek out is no different to those that should be sought more generally; a very high quality balance sheet, stable performance, a high Return on Equity, little or no debt and a discount to intrinsic value.

    So what do I think are the superior businesses? Following is a table of my findings.

    Using a combination of 15 financial hurdles, I note that the best quality companies, but not necessarily the cheapest in the sector, are CSL, Cochlear, Sirtex, Biota and Blackmores.

    Do you see that Search box to the right, just under my photo? You will need to scroll up. Type CSL, Cochlear or Blackmores into the box and click GO to read my past insights. And if your appetite remains unsatisfied, visit my YouTube channel, youtube.com/rogerjmontgomery, and search there too (there are many videos in which I talk about CSL and Cochlear).

    I should point out that each of the remaining three – Sirtex, Biota and Blackmores – are generating high Returns on Equity and has manageable or no debt.

    The lowest ranked by quality are Primary Healthcare, Sigma, Australian Pharmaceuticals and Vision Group. I won’t be buying these at any price and their Returns on Equity are less than those available from a risk-free term deposit.

    Alchemia, which manufactures a generic treatment for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, Phosphagenics, with its patented transdermal insulin delivery system, and Capitol Health are also low in terms of quality and also highly speculative because they are yet to report profits. Analysts, however, are forecasting profits for all three in 2011 and 2012 and Alchemia is forecast to earn more than 30% Returns on Equity after a loss in 2010.

    In between this group are companies whose quality is neither compelling nor frightening; these are businesses that if I was forced to by I might only if very large discounts to intrinsic value were presented and in some cases, only if I was happy to speculate – which generally I am not. Sonic, Ramsay (search RHC for more analysis), iSoft, Pro Medicus, Healthscope, Halcygen Pharmaceuticals, ChemGenex, Acrux and SDI fall into this band.

    I have ranked all of the healthcare companies by their safety margin: a measure of their discount or premium to the current year’s intrinsic value. This reveals that some companies are trading at discounts to intrinsic value. As an investor you need to be satisfied that the companies you choose also meet your quality criteria, which should mimic your tolerance for risk.

    Take a close look at Biota, for example. Its price of $2.38 is significantly lower than the estimated intrinsic value, however you will also see that the return on equity is forecast to fall from 50% to 11%. There will be a commensurate decline in intrinsic value in coming years and the apparent discount will no longer exist, meaning that unless return on equity improves considerably in a few years it will cease to be a good investment.

    If my portfolio approach were to include some exposure to healthcare then my first choices would be CSL and Cochlear. These are both well managed, large-cap businesses with stable returns on equity and zero or low levels of gearing.

    My next preferred exposure would be pathology and radiology operator Sonic, alternative medicine distributor Blackmores, and liver cancer treatment marketer Sirtex

    Finally, if I was comfortable speculating on stocks then the companies I would seek to conduct further research on would be the two pharmaceutical minnows, Halcygen and cancer drug developer Chemgenex. Both companies are forecast to generate attractive rates of return on equity in 2011 and 2012 and have little or no debt. Halcygen is also currently trading at a discount to its estimated intrinsic value.

    REMEMBER… Before making any investment decisions, my comments should only be seen as an additional opinion to the essential requirement to conduct your own research and see a qualified financial professional.

    Everyone is capable of being terrific investors, you just need to remember that there is serious work to be done by YOU in the business of investing.

    Posted by Roger Montgomery, 25 March 2010

    by Roger Montgomery Posted in Companies, Health Care.
  • Hands up if you asked; What is the intrinsic value of…

    Roger Montgomery
    March 19, 2010

    The requests for valuations and insights have been coming in thick and fast, and I have to confess to being a little surprised. The vast majority of requests have been for great quality businesses, some of them even the ‘A1’ companies that I alluded to on the Sky Business Channel a few weeks ago (the highlights will be on my YouTube channel in the next week or so).

    If you have sent me an email requesting my insights and valuation for a particular business, thank you. You have uncovered some really interesting stories.

    Lloyd, who was kind enough to drive me to the airport following my ASX Investor Hour presentation in Perth last November, suggested one such company to me, Forge Group Limited (FGE). At the time, FGE was trading at a bit more than a dollar.

    If my memory serves me correctly, Lloyd bought the stock around 30 cents. I looked at it, ran it through my models and liked it a lot. For a tiny little company it was a true A1 – very high quality on all counts. It had also doubled its profits a few times.

    Today it trades at $2.82 and has received a bid for 50% from Clough Limited. They have a hide! This company is potentially worth a great deal more, but don’t take my word for it – remember that you should see my view as just one more opinion, should always conduct your own valuations and research, and if necessary, seek independent advice from someone familiar with your financial circumstances and needs.

    If you asked me to value a particular business, and there have been a few requests, I would have explained that I will do my best to post a valuation up as soon as possible but those companies that received the most requests would be posted first.

    So here are my insights, and valuations, for the most popular businesses, as requested by you over recent weeks and even months.

    Electrical contractor, Southern Cross Electrical Engineering Ltd (SXE)

    Prior to its capital raising and downgrade, SXE was expected to generate Returns on Equity in excess of 37% in 2010 and 30% in 2012. Recent events however are likely to see these numbers fall to 22% and 27% respectively. The value today is 96 cents and lower than the current price, however the value next year, if it can earn the new forecast numbers, will be higher than the current price. You need to satisfy yourself that the revised expectations are indeed achievable.

    Pawn shop chain (and commercial microfinance operator), Cash Converters International (CCV)

    There has been a lot of interest in Cash Converters. I have seen these stores and while I cannot see them becoming a retailing powerhouse like a JB Hi-Fi or even The Reject Shop, that may not be the company’s intention. More than 2/3rds of reported profits are generated from secured and unsecured small personal loans that are distributed by a network of 509 second hand goods stores.  CCV has the metrics of an attractive business indeed its an “A” class stock, but scale is the issue.  Just how big can they ever be?  If we remember that we want a) Big Equity and b) Big Returns on Equity, then I can see the big returns on equity but Big Equity may be someway off.

    The value of CCV today however is 74 cents – about ten cents higher than the current price, and based on current estimates is worth 93 cents in a couple of years. Those valuations compare favourably to the current price and very favourably to the 32 cents the shares traded at in March 2009.  Always keep in mind that you want to buy these sorts of stories at very big discounts to intrinsic value.

    Figure 1.  CCV’s historical and forecast earnings and dividends per share

    On the surface here’s a company that has the quality characteristics I like and is at a discount to intrinsic value.  The only question mark is about how big they can get.  If you intend to trade shares of CCV seek independent financial advice from a qualified professional who is familiar with your needs and circumstances and do not rely on the general nature of comments posted here.

    Investors must also be aware of the impact of the intention of the Consumer Credit Code Amendment Bill 2007 and the subsequent Fee, Credit and Transition Bills as they relate to the nationalisation of regulation of operators such as Cash Converters and its perceived competitors, such as City Finance.

    (Postscript:  ‘Reg’s’ comment below and my response are worth reading and considering and investors should pay attention to the growth of the company’s loan book and the relationship with its new largest shareholder and try to get answers to the questions I pose about continued growth and the ongoing relationship of loan book growth to retail stores)

    Online job lister, Seek Limited (SEK)

    Seek is a great business. Like all of the world’s most successful internet stories, it’s a plain old list. And it has developed that competitive advantage some companies achieve when scale and popularity leads to ‘essentialness’. People search for jobs at seek.com.au because there are lots of jobs, and there are lots of jobs because lots of people look for jobs there. I haven’t worked out if reaching this point is a function of strategy or dumb luck, but by definition someone has to make it to this point and he who gets there generates a lot of money and a high Return on Equity that is protected from imitation.

    Seek is no exception, and its Return on Equity is expected to exceed 30% over the next two and half years. But while ROE is good and its earnings and intrinsic value growth is heading in a smooth north easterly direction, the fact remains that its popularity, as reflected in the current price of $7.90, is well in excess of the value, which is closer to $5.00 and rising to $6.30 in a couple of years. Sorry guys! Of course it was available to buy below $5.00 as recently as August last year, but that is of little use to you now. Patience is required.

    Cranes for hire company, Boom Logistics Limited (BOL)

    Boom Logistics is a business I remember reviewing when it floated. I was there at the IPO briefing and even then I didn’t like it. And didn’t I look foolish not taking any stock – it shot up from its listing price of 99 cents to almost $4.00 in less than 28 months.

    I can sometimes get very frustrated knowing what a business is really worth and since 2005, the value of this business has been declining, along with its Returns on Equity. In 2004 ROE was 30% and today it is expected to approach 4.5%. Because you can do better in a bank account with no risk, you should think very carefully about investing in BOL. It is trading at 33 cents, but its value is less than 10 cents.

    Hospital operator, Ramsay Health Care Limited (RHC)

    Ramsay Healthcare is a business whose ‘theme’ I like. The population of Australia is ageing – the number of people over 75 will double in the next decade and a half, and while that will bring much sadness, the reality is that hospitals are there to provide the care that an ageing population needs. Despite a great story, hospitals aren’t that easy to run well.

    You see, unlike most other businesses, hospitals can’t simply place a price on a service based on its cost and add a mark-up. Instead, they have to deal with insurance pay scales, meaning hospitals will make more money taking care of some patients and not others, and this is often not within their control.

    Generally, hospitals make more money when more things happen to patients, such as pathology tests, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and operations. Operations are usually reimbursed at a higher rate than a medical patient, and while length of stay counts, its usually the hospital that has more surgical patients is the one that makes more money.

    Conversely, a patient who lingers in a hospital is costing them money as their ongoing care may not be justified and they are blocking that bed from receiving another, better paying patient. Ever had a baby in hospital and felt like you were being booted out before your were ready? Anyone?

    This is just the tip of the iceberg, but explains why running a hospital is so much more challenging than selling DVD’s to teenagers.

    Having said that, Ramsay is doing a good job, as Figure 1 testifies.

    Figure 2.  RHC’s historical and forecast earnings and dividends per share

    Of course, there is a bit of hockey-stick optimism in the forecasts, and you can thank my peers in the analyst community for that. More importantly however, the hospital is generating Returns on Equity of about 14% over the next three years, up from circa 10% in the last few years.

    The value of the business is rising, along with the returns. In 2000 Ramsay’s intrinsic value was just 58 cents. In 2012 its forecast intrinsic value is $8.13. – that’s an increase of 25 percent per year! Exceptional, but the price has never allowed investors to buy at a discount to intrinsic value.

    In April 2000 RHC shares traded as low as 74 cents, but never below the 2001 valuation of 91 cents. Since then you have had to buy the shares above intrinsic value in order to participate in the growth in intrinsic value.  But whereas in 2000 you only needed to wait a year for intrinsic value to catch up, you would be waiting much longer today. With the shares currently priced at $13.50, even a 2 -year wait won’t see the value catch up.  It looks a little pricey now.

    Keep in mind that I cannot predict share prices. I can tell you what things are really worth and tell you that over time price and value catch up with each other one way or another, but that is all I can tell you. I guess I can also vouch, having managed a couple of hundred million dollars, that if you buy good businesses below intrinsic value, things tend to work out ok.

    Mining laboratory operator and cleaning solution seller, Campbell Brothers Limited (CPB)

    Second last on the list is Campbell Brothers. Its been generating a decent Return on Equity for a decade, and its intrinsic value has been rising every year in that time. But like Ramsay, CPB’s intrinsic value will still not have reached the current price, even in 2012. I reckon it is worth $20 in 2011, and today its trading at $29.

    Finally, one that needs no introduction, ASX Limited (ASX)

    I have written about the ASX in my forthcoming book, Value.able. The ASX is worth less than $21 today and intrinsic value should rise to $26 in 2012. But Returns on Equity are not a patch on other companies, averaging 13.5% over the next few years. And despite the monopoly characteristics the company evidently has, it has not been able to charge what it wants for fear of emigration to rivals applying to set up. As a result, there is some correlation to the direction of the stock market, and predicting it is like predicting the price of a commodity – difficult.

    Is your hand still up?

    I have deliberately left out any discussion about debt, so be sure the companies you are investing in have little or none.  There is much more on this in Value.able, including a chapter devoted to when to sell.

    I hope you are getting a great deal of use from these valuations and I look forward to your comments and input.

    Posted by Roger Montgomery, 19 March 2009

    by Roger Montgomery Posted in Companies, Health Care, Insightful Insights.
  • Should we write off Woolworths and buy Wesfarmers?

    Roger Montgomery
    March 8, 2010

    Woolworths reported its first half 2010 results in recent weeks and the 17 per cent decline in the share price ahead of the result suggested investors may have been betting that the company was giving up ground to a revitalised Coles story. The price of Wesfarmers shares – being almost double their intrinsic value – certainly suggests enthusiasm for the latter company’s story.

    Studying the results and the company however suggests any pessimism is unfounded and premature.

    When I study JBH’s results there’s evidence of a classic profit loop. Cut prices to the customer, generate more sales, invest in systems and take advantage of greater buying power, invest savings in lower prices and do it again. Entrench the competitive advantage.

    It would be obvious to expect Woolworths, with its history of management ties to Wal-Mart (who also engages the profit-loop) to be producing the same story, however WOW is flagging an arguably stronger position.

    Where JBH’s gross profit margin keeps declining and net profit margin rising, Woolworths’ gross margin has increased every year since 2005. Revenues were 4.2% higher and gross profits rose by 6.5% in the latest half year result. Like JBH, WOW’s EBIT growth was stronger at 11%. As analysts we are mystified as to what is driving the increase in gross profit margins but standing back, you realise its a really good thing; if analysts cannot work it out then perhaps neither can the competitors and that’s good for maintaining a competitive advantage.  Competitors cannot replicate something if they don’t know how its produced.

    Woolworths competitive advantage – an important driver of sustainably high rates of return on equity (I expect them to average 27% for the next three years – subject to change of course at any time and without warning or notification afterwards) – is its scale and its total dominance, ownership of and class leadership in supply-chain management.  The result is that a small increase in revenue even if due to inflation, results in a leveraged impact on profits.

    From a cash flow perspective the other fascinating thing is the negative working capital. To those new to investing, working capital is typically an investment for a company; a business orders its products from a supplier, pays on 30 days terms and then spends the next few months selling the product it sells. If its takes a long time to sell the product and the customer takes time to pay, then there is an adverse impact on cash flow because the business is forking out cash today and not getting paid for some weeks or months.

    In Woolworths case, as you might expect, the company is so strong and its buying power so dominant that it can dictate terms to its suppliers, making sure they deliver the right quantities at the right time. It can pay them when it likes and perhaps even pay them AFTER it sells the goods to consumers who buy with a debit, cash or credit card, which means Woolworths gets its money from its sales activity immediately. The difference of course can be invested.This virtuous cycle is highlighted by a negative number for working capital (WC = Inventory – Trade Payables + receivables – other creditors) which in Woolworth’s case, got even more negative! Don’t go rushing out and buying the shares because of this fact – its well known to the market and suppliers (who no doubt resent the company’s powerful market position). In the latest result, it was also attributable to timing differences in creditor payments.

    The steep decline in the share price ahead of the company’s first half results suggests that many investors and analysts may have considered the company “ex-growth” and favoured Wesfarmers. Given the relative performances and valuations, this is likely to prove to be a mistake (more about that in a moment).

    The company still has a lot of room to substantially increase sales and profits and the disbelief in this regard reminds me of the decade after decade in which analysts said Coca-Cola couldn’t grow anymore.

    It would take a very almost illegally-informed and dedicated analyst to reach the conclusion that the company cannot continue to enlarge its coffers from further improvements to its overseas buying capability, its private label sales (both admittedly to the detriment of many smaller local owners of branded products) or its supply chain management. There’s also growth from acquisitions (speculative and don’t ever base a purchase on it), the Everyday Rewards loyalty card program and the hardware rollout (it will interesting to find out what they think their USP is).

    While it will be interesting to find out what has been driving the competitor Wesfarmers sales numbers (basket size of more customers), the fact remains that it is premature to write off Woolworths. Many analysts will also be concerned about retailers cycling (comparing sales and profits to previous results) the fiscal stimulus, this is simply a short-term distraction and does not have anything to do with the long-term value of the company.

    On that front, my calculated intrinsic value for Woolworths has risen every year for the last decade. When Buffett says he’s looking for companies with a “demonstrated track record of earnings power”, its because it translates to rising valuations. Woolworths was worth $2.39 in 2000. Intrinsic value rose to $14.84 in 2005 and $25.70 in 2009. Today’s value of $25.80 is expected to rise to $28.00 in 2011 and almost $30 in 2012.

    The current price of $28.05 is therefore now equivalent to the valuation 15 months out and the February low prices are perhaps a better reflection of the current valuation that I have.

    I have rarely been able to buy Woolworths at any significant discount to intrinsic value in the last decade and while I don’t know what the price will do next, I do know that irrespective of whether Woolworths offers lower prices in the supermarket or the share market, you would be ill advised to ignore them.

    Please be reminded that my valuations for the future are based on analyst expectations, which can change at any time.

    Posted by Roger Montgomery, 8 March 2010.

    by Roger Montgomery Posted in Companies, Consumer discretionary, Insightful Insights.
  • Is The TV Your Investment Strategy?

    Roger Montgomery
    March 5, 2010

    Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) said; “I Am Not So Concerned With The Return On My Money As The Return Of My Money.” It may surprise you to know he was quite the investor and liked to make comment about his observations.  His quips always revealed a deep understanding of the nonsense that goes on in the stock market.  What fascinates me is that the mistakes Twain observed during his lifetime are being repeated today.

    I am occasionally asked why I spend so much time offering my insights when many observe that there is neither an obligation nor financial need.  The reason is quite simple, I enjoy the process and of course, the proceeds of investing this way.  I find it reasonably undemanding and so I have a little time to share my findings.  And there’s the ancillary benefit of seeing hundreds of light-bulb moments when people ‘get it’.  I note Buffett’s obligations and financials are even less necessitous and yet he has devoted decades to educating investors and students.  I really enjoy my work.  It is fun and thank you for making it so.

    Investing badly in stocks is both simple and easy.  But while investing well is equally simple – it requires 1) an understanding of how the market works, 2) how to identify good companies and finally, 3) how to value them – investing well is not easy.

    This is because investing successfully requires the right temperament.  You see you can be really bright – smartest kid in the class – and still produce poor or inconsistent returns, invest in lousy businesses, be easily influenced by tips or gamble. I know a few who fit the “intelligent but dumb” category.  Because you are bombarded, second-by-second, by hundreds of opinions and because stocks are rising and falling all around you, all the time, investing may be simple but its not easy.

    Buffett once said; “If you are in the investment business and have an IQ of 150, sell 30 points to someone else”.

    Everyone reading this blog is capable of being terrific investors.  But it is important to know what you are doing and to do the right things.

    To this end I have asked a couple of investors with whom I have corresponded for permission to discuss their correspondence because it provides a more complete understanding of the research that’s required before buying a share.

    I regularly warn investors that what I can do well is value a company.  What I cannot do well is predict its short-term share price direction.  Long-term valuations (what I do) are not predictions of short term share prices (what I don’t do).

    Generally the scorecard over the last 8 months is pretty good.  The invested Valueline Portfolio, which I write about in Alan Kohler’s Eureka Report, is up 30% against the market’s 20% rise.  I have avoided Telstra and Myer, bought JBH, REH, CSL and COH.  Replaced WBC with CBA last year and enjoyed its outperformance.  Bought MMS and sold it at close to the highs – right after a sell down by the founding shareholder – avoiding a sharp subsequent decline.

    But this year, there have been a couple of reminders of the inability I admit to frequently, that of not being able to accurately predict short term prices.  And it is understanding the implications of this that may simultaneously serve to warn and help.

    Even though I bought JB Hi-Fi below $9.00 last year, its value earlier this year was significantly higher than its circa $20 price.  And the price was falling.  It appeared that a Margin of Safety was being presented.  And then…the CEO resigned and the company raised its dividend payout ratio.  The latter reduces the intrinsic value and the former could too, depending on the capability of Terry Smart.

    The point is 1) You need a large margin of safety and 2) DO NOT bet the farm on any one investment – diversify.

    You can see my correspondence about this with “Paul” at http://rogermontgomery.com/what-does-jb-hi-fis-result-and-resignation-mean/

    The second example is perhaps more predictable.  Last year, Peter Switzer asked me for five stocks that were high on the quality scale; not necessarily value, but quality.  We didn’t then have time to reveal the list, so I was asked back, in the second half of October 09.  By that time, the market had rallied strongly, as had some of the picks.  The three main stocks were MMS, JBH and WOW.

    But because I didn’t have five at that time, I was asked for a couple more.  I offered two more and warned they were “speculative”.  “Speculative” is a warning to tread very, very carefully – think of it as meaning a very hot cup of tea balanced on your head.  You just don’t need to put yourself in that position!  But I was aware that viewers do like to investigate the odd speculative issue. A company earns the ‘speculative’ moniker because its size or exposure (to commodities, for example) or capital intensity render its performance less predictable or reliable, earning it the ‘speculative’ moniker.  Nevertheless, based on consensus analyst estimates they were companies whose values were rising and whose prices were at discounts to the intrinsic values at the time – a reasonable starting point for investigative analysis.  ERA was one and SXE was the other.  Both speculative and neither a company that I would buy personally because their low predictability means valuations can change rapidly and in either direction.

    My suggestions on TV or radio should be seen as an additional opinion to the research you have already conducted and should motivate investors to begin the essential requirement to conduct their own research.  Unfortunately, I have discovered to my great disappointment, that some people just buy whatever stocks are mentioned by the invited guests on TV.  Putting aside the fact that I have said innumerable times that I cannot predict short-term movements of share prices, it seems some investors aren’t even doing the most basic research.

    As I have warned here on the blog and my Facebook page on several occasions:

    1)   I am under no obligation to revisit any previous valuations.

    2) I may not be on TV or radio for some weeks and in that time my view may have changed in light of new information.  Again, I am not obligated to revisit the previous comments and often not asked.  Only a daily show could facilitate that.  An example may be, the suggestion to go and investigate ERA because of a very long term view that nuclear power is going be an important source of energy for a growing China followed by a more recent view (see the previous post) that short term risks from a Chinese property bubble could prove to be a significant short-term obstacle to Chinese growth.

    3)   I don’t know what your particular needs and circumstances are.

    4)   I assume you are diversified appropriately and never risk the farm in any single investment

    5)   The stocks that I mention should be viewed, in the context of other research and your adviser’s recommendations, as another opinion to weigh up – to go and research not rush out and trade…rarely is impatience rewarded.

    There are further warnings that are relevant and described in the correspondence related to the post you will find at http://rogermontgomery.com/what-does-jb-hi-fis-result-and-resignation-mean/

    One investor wrote to me noting he had bought ERA and it had dropped in price.  This should not be surprising – in the short run prices can move up and down with no regard or relationship to the value of the business. But like JBH before it, ERA had of course made a surprise announcement that would affect not only the price but the intrinsic value.  In this case, it was a downgrade and a rather bleak outlook statement relating to cash flows.  Analysts – whose estimates are the basis for forecast valuations here – would be downgrading their forecasts and as a result the valuations would decline just as they did when JB Hi-Fi increased its payout ratio.  Over the long-term the valuations in ERA’s case, continue to rise (these valuations are also based on earnings estimates – new ones but which it should be noted are themselves based on commodity prices that are impossibly hard to forecast), but all valuations are lower than they were previously.

    Our correspondence reminded me to regularly serve you with NOTICE that there is serious work to be done by you in this business of investing.  In a rising market you can pretty much close your eyes and buy anything but you should never conduct yourself this way.  If you work appropriately during a bull market, you will be rewarded in weaker markets too.  And while many may complain when I say on air “I can’t find anything of value at the moment”, I would rather you complain about the return ON your money than the return OF your money.

    Posted by Roger Montgomery, 5 March 2010.

    by Roger Montgomery Posted in Companies, Insightful Insights.
  • WHITEPAPER

    INTEREST RATES, THE BEST IT GETS. IT’S TIME TO DEPLOY CASH

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  • Is Australia’s future written inside a fortune cookie?

    Roger Montgomery
    March 4, 2010

    On 3 March I shared my thoughts about the future of Australian companies that supply directly or indirectly, the Chinese building industry, or have more than 70% of their revenues or profits reliant on China with subscribers of Alan Kohler’s Eureka Report. Following are my insights…

    Glancing over yet another set of numbers as reporting season draws to a close, my mind started to wander as I wade through forecasts for one, two and three years hence. I began to consider what might happen that could take the shine off these elaborate constructions and which companies are in the firing line.

Consider Rio Tinto, which, in an effort to make itself “takeover proof” back in 2007, loaded itself up with debt up to acquire the Canadian aluminium company Alcan. It paid top-of-the-market multiples just 12 months before the biggest credit crunch in living memory forced it to sell assets, raise capital and destroy huge amounts of shareholder value.

Do you think they saw that coming?

    Before I elaborate on events that could unfold, allow me to indulge in a bit of history and take you back to the mid-1990s when I was in Malaysia and the Kuala Lumpur skyline was filled with cranes because of a credit-fuelled speculative boom. It was the same throughout the region.

    A year or so after my visit, the Asian tiger economies were in trouble and the Asian currency crisis was in full flight. These are the returns that are produced by unjustified, credit-fuelled “investing” unsupported by demand fundamentals.

    In December 2007, as I travelled to Miami, I experienced a distinct feeling of déjà vu as I once again witnessed residential and commercial property construction fuelled by low interest rates and easy credit, unsupported by any real demand.

    These are not isolated incidences. Japan, Dubai, Malaysia, the US. Credit fuelled speculative property booms always end badly.

    So what does this have to do with your Australian share portfolio? Australia’s economic good fortune lies in its proximity – and exports of coal and iron ore – to China. Much of those commodities go into the production of steel, one of the major inputs in the building industry.

    In China today there is, presently under construction and in addition to the buildings that already exist, 30 billion square feet of residential and commercial space. That is the equivalent of 23 square feet for every single man, woman and child in China. This construction activity has been a key driver of Chinese capital spending and resource consumption.

    About two years ago if you looked at all the buildings, the roads the office towers and apartments under construction the only thought to pop into your head would be to consider how much energy would be required to light and heat all those spaces.

    But that won’t be necessary if they all remain empty. In the commercial sector, the vacancy rate stands at 20% and construction industry continues to build a bank of space that is more than required for a very, very long time.

    Because of this I am more than a little concerned about any Australian company that sells the bulk of its output to the Chinese, to be used in construction. That means steel and iron ore, aluminium, glass, bricks, fibre cement … you name it.

    Last year China imported 42% more iron ore than the year before, while the rest of the world fell in a heap. It consumes 40% of the world’s coal and the growth has increased Australia’s reliance on China; China buys almost three-quarters of Australia’s iron ore exports – 280 million of their 630 million tonne demand.

    The key concern for investors is to examine the valuations of companies that sell the bulk of their output to China. Any company that is trading at a substantial premium to its valuation on the hope that it will be sustained by Chinese demand, without a speed hump, may be more risk than you care for your portfolio to endure.

    The biggest risks are any companies that are selling more than 70% of their output to China but anything over 20% on the revenue line could have major consequences.

    BHP generates about 20%, or $11 billion, of its $56 billion revenue from China; and Rio 24%, or $11 billion, from its $46 billion revenue. BHP’s adjusted net profit before tax was $19.8 billion last year and Rio’s was $8.7 billion.

    While BHP’s profitability would be substantially impacted by any speed bumps that emerge from China, the effect on Rio Tinto would be far worse.

    According to my method of valuation, Rio Tinto is worth no more than its current share price and while the debt associated with the $43 billion purchase of Alcan is declining, the dilutive capital raisings (so far avoided by BHP) have been disastrous for its shareholders.

    As a result, return on equity is expected to fall from 45% to 16% for the next three years. Most importantly the massive growth in earnings for the next three years is driven by the ever-optimistic analysts who are relying on China’s growth to extend in a smooth upward trajectory.

    Go through your portfolio: do you own any companies that supply directly or indirectly, the Chinese building industry, have more than 70% of their revenues or profits reliant on China and are trading at steep premiums to intrinsic value?

    Make no mistake: Australia’s future is written inside a fortune cookie – some companies’ more than others.

    Subscribe to Alan’s Eureka Report at www.eurekareport.com.au.

    Posted by Roger Montgomery, 4 March 2010

    by Roger Montgomery Posted in Companies, Energy / Resources, Insightful Insights.
  • Is Wesfarmers’ Price Justified?

    Roger Montgomery
    February 26, 2010

    The following column first appeared in Alan Kohler’s Eureka Report earlier this week…

    Reading the headlines lauding Richard Goyder’s “audacious” and now “successful” bid for Coles and the almost lyrical waxing of the turnaround, you’d be forgiven for thinking you should buy shares in Wesfarmers immediately. But rarely is impatience rewarded, so before you rush in consider the following.

    The enthusiasm surrounding Wesfarmers’ results last Thursday can only be justified if your sole focus is growth. Coles outpaced Woolworths’ sales growth in the half-year to December for the first time since the early 1990s and volume growth of food and liquor has risen in each of the past five quarters to now exceed 7%. Kmart’s turnaround has been impressive, with returns on invested capital more than doubling, and the liquor business – which includes Liquorland and Vintage Cellars – has delivered the targeted increase in market share and won share from arch-rival Dan Murphy.

    But all is not as it seems, and in investing it is always best to be sceptical. Let’s start with the liquor strategy.

    The company’s liquor strategy is to win market share by discounting and then improve margins later. Improving margins may involve raising prices, which could lead to a loss of market share. Improving margins can also mean cutting costs.

    But keeping overheads low for a retailer should be like breathing is to you and me: automatic. Implementing a cost cutting “strategy” at a later date is akin to deferring breathing – not wise. And while Kmart’s improvement in return on invested capital is impressive, one does wonder how arbitrary the allocation of the invested capital to Kmart is.

    More importantly, buying shares in Wesfarmers, buys you a lot more than Coles, Liquorland and Kmart (or a lot less, depending on your perspective). One share of Wesfarmers buys you a (now much smaller) piece of a conglomerate that includes coal, insurance, chemicals and a hardware business.

    When all businesses are included it’s difficult to share the market’s enthusiasm. Net profits rose from $871 million to $879 million – less than 1% – and on a per share basis the earnings actually fell 26% from 103.3¢ per share to just 76¢. This is because capital was raised to pay down debt.

    Debt reduction via equity issues rarely produce desirable results for shareholders. On the one hand there’s the fact that shareholders are investing capital in a business at a return equal to the interest rate on the debt. This dilutes overall returns on equity and presents shareholders with a very low return for their risk.

    On the other hand, the number of shares on issue rises, and for Wesfarmers the number was significant because much of the raising was done at prices less than the equity per share. Using the same share price, buying $10,000 of Wesfarmers’ half-year earnings in 2009 would have cost you about $293,000, for 9680 shares. In 2010, the same share of earnings now costs almost $400,000, for just over 13,100 shares.

    Dilution aside, growth is always a component of my calculation of intrinsic value. Sometimes it’s a variable that has an enormous impact and sometimes it has none. More surprisingly, perhaps, is the fact that growth can be both a positive and a negative contributor to the estimate of intrinsic value.

    When return on equity is low, growth hurts the investor because profits have to be retained to fund the growth. These profits, however, are being employed at low rates of return that represent an opportunity cost and fail to reflect the risk associated with the investment.

    Using the company’s own data, combining Coles, Officeworks, Target and Kmart’s $1.6 billion EBIT and comparing it to the capital invested of $20.4 billion, produces a return of 7.7%, about the same as a five-year term deposit. And while I know the reasons for using EBIT, in reality someone has to pay the interest and the tax and so an owner’s return should look at NPAT. Taking the enthusiastic analysts’ optimistic forecasts for earnings, Wesfarmers returns on equity are forecast to improve from a rather miserly 6.5% this year to just under 9.5% in 2012.

    As a result, Wesfarmers’ per share intrinsic value is nowhere near the current price. This year intrinsic value is about $12 per share, rising to about $16.50 next year. With the shares trading today at $30, you may be wondering how the market could be so wrong? Or more likely, how could Roger be so wrong?

    When Telstra traded at $9 and my valuation came out at less than $3, or when investors bought Myer at $4.10 and my valuation was under $3, I thought the same thing. In the short term the market is a voting machine – a popularity contest – and for time immemorial it votes with growth. Think ABC Learning, Babcock and Brown, Allco.

    Wesfarmers should not be compared to these examples; over the long term however the market is a weighing machine and price follows valuations. Intrinsic value is based on profitability – how many dollars are required to be invested to get that dollar of profit out – rather than profits alone and Wesfarmers’ profitability simply doesn’t justify today’s price.

    Roger Montgomery for Alan Kohler’s Eureka Report. www.eurekareport.com.au

    Posted by Roger Montgomery, 26 February 2010

    by Roger Montgomery Posted in Companies.
  • Did you watch Your Money Your Call on Sky Business last night (25 February)?

    Roger Montgomery
    February 26, 2010

    Last night on the Sky Business Channel with Nina May, I received a few requests for comments on companies that I hadn’t included in my valuation tables.  So here are the valuations for those companies – Worleyparsons (WOR), Brambles (BXB), AGL Energy (AGK), Arrow Energy (AOE), Origin Energy (ORG) and SAI Global (SAI):

    Intrinsic Values*
    Company Code Price Intrinsic Value Forecast Intrinsic Value

    (Above Current Price? / above Current Value?)

    Forecast ROE range

    >20% preferred

    Net Debt / Equity

    <50% preferred

    WOR $24.36 $17.56 YES/yes 18%/21% 30.2%
    BXB $6.99 $3.76 NO/yes 30%/33% 149%
    AGK $13.80 $7.20 NO/yes 27%/32% 14.4%
    AOE $3.33 $0.04 NO/yes -0.6%/2.4% -9.4%
    ORG $16.50 $6.63 NO/yes 6.1%/7.7% -8.1%
    SAI $3.74 $1.88 NO/yes 16%/18.3% 68%

    *Be sure to read the warnings about intrinsic values.  See below.

    “Would you buy this stock?” is a question I have fielded innumerable times since selling my funds management businesses and leaving them as well as the investment company I listed on the ASX.  I am not in a position to answer it – having had 8 months of R&R since leaving, but I will let you know when I am.  The following information comes from an earlier post “What would you say about my portfolio?” where I have listed further intrinsic valuation estimates.

    When I am asked on air, sometimes without notice -by the guys at the ABC or Ross Greenwood at 2GB or Peter, Richard or Nina on Sky Business – what I think about a company, I will detail the price, the intrinsic value, the ROE, the debt and whether I believe that the intrinsic value will be rising by a decent clip in coming years.  These are the things that I believe are the most important determinants of an investor’s return.  Happily investors haven’t had to wait very long to see whether prices head towards the values – both Myer and Telstra are recent examples.

    ABOUT INTRINSIC VALUES

    We’d all prefer intrinsic values that were cast in stone. Unfortunately, they’re not. The valuation depends on the input so to be safer, I always run my model using two data sets. Importantly, I only run ONE valuation formula. My preferred method of investing would be to buy at a discount to the most conservative valuation but if I can’t get that and valuations are rising strongly in future years I might invest a smaller proportion of my portfolio in first class business at a substantial discount to the upper valuation.

    AN INVITATION

    I would be interested in hearing what you prefer to see. Would you prefer to see 1) the most conservative valuation only, 2) the valuation based on next year’s earnings forecast 3) based on the continuation of the historical performance of the company, or 4) both? Feel free to vote. What I like to use myself may not be what you want to see.

    WARNINGS

    Firstly, these valuations can change at any time and I may or may not update them here on the blog.  A company, for example, could announce a downgrade and the valuation would drop – potentially precipitously and I will probably busy doing something with my own portfolio(s) so do not under any circumstances rely on or expect these valuations being kept up to date here at all.

    Second, valuing a company is not the same as predicting the direction of its shares.  Just because a company’s shares are lower than my valuation, does not mean the shares will go up. Conversely, a price that is well above my valuation doesn’t mean the share price is going to fall.

    Third, my forthcoming book contains the information you need to calculate intrinsic value the way I do, so rather than ask me how I arrived at a valuation above, please register and wait for the book.

    Finally, don’t act on this information (which can and is likely to change without warning and without notifying you) – seek a professional advisor’s recommendation, preferably someone who knows you, your financial circumstances and needs.

    (Most importantly, don’t act without first speaking to an advisor who is familiar with your circumstances and needs.  You must not rely on my musings – they could change in a moment and anyway, they relate only to me. My thoughts here are “insights” into the way I think about stocks and they don’t have you in mind.)

    Posted by Roger Montgomery, 26 February 2010.

    by Roger Montgomery Posted in Companies, Insightful Insights.
  • What do I think of Industrea?

    Roger Montgomery
    February 18, 2010

    On Sky Business last week with Nina May, a caller asked for my thoughts on Industrea.  I offered to put together an opinion and of course, the only way I know how to do that is to first run it through the model to learn whether or not it is 1) A Wonderful Business with 2) Bright prospects and available at 3) A bargain price.

    On the first point, a wonderful business, Industrea lost money until 2006 when it earned just under $2 million.  Its not history however that determines your returns.  It will be the future performance of the company.  More on that in a moment.  Last year the profits grew to $15 million but in order to generate that increase the company has raised equity and borrowed additional funds, to the tune of $309.5 million.  Dividing the additional profit of $13 million by the additional equity of about $110 million is a return on incremental equity of about 11%.  Not great but not bad either.  (see note about profit adjustment below which makes this return higher)

    According to some analysts and a recent company announcement (for FY10), the profit is expected to rise materially in the next three years to $48 million next year and $60 million in 2012 corresponding to a return on equity of about 25%.  Of course the 2009 profit probably wasn’t $15 if you back out unrealised movements in interest rate hedges, amortisation and impairment of Customer Contracts and the like.  If 25% returns are the case then the business looks ok except for the fact that debt exceeds equity.  Of course if the profit figures come through as expected, then the debts could be paid down considerably, unless the directors choose to pay much higher dividends.

    Based on the analysts forecasts for the next three years (of course subject to change in a moment’s notice and without any update here) the value of Industrea is 48 cents rising to 70 cents in 2012.  So the prospects for value increases looks ok and the shares are currently at a discount to today’s intrinsic value.

    Do I think its a great business?  I think there are better quality businesses around unless you can satisfy yourself that this company has genuine sustainable competitive advantages.  If you can, and believe the debt will start to decline, then the shares don’t look expensive.  Of course this is not a forecast of the share price.  Valuing a company is not the same as predicting the direction of the shares.  Seek professional advice with someone familiar with your needs and circumstances before acting.

    Posted by Roger Montgomery, 18 February 2010.

    by Roger Montgomery Posted in Companies.
  • “What would you say about my portfolio?”

    Roger Montgomery
    February 12, 2010

    Its a question I have fielded innumerable times since selling my funds management businesses and leaving them as well as the investment company I listed on the ASX.  I am not in a position to answer it – having had 8 months of R&R since leaving, but I will let you know when I am.  It occurred to me however that most investors already have an established portfolio.  Those who are approaching or have entered retirement may have a large number of stocks too – although sometimes more a ‘museum’ than a portfolio.

    When I am asked on air, often without notice -by Paul Turton on the ABC or Ross Greenwood at 2GB or the Peter, Richard or Nina on Sky Business – what I think about a company, I will detail the price, the intrinsic value, the ROE, the debt and whether I believe that the intrinsic value will be rising by a decent clip in coming years.  These are the things that I believe are the most important determinants of an investor’s return.

    How then do investors with established portfolios respond?  What does one do, if for example, I believe a company is trading above its intrinsic value or is of an inferior quality to something else?  My concern is that an investor holding the stock may sell.  It may come to pass that this was the right decision, but there are many things to consider first.  And there is also the possibility that selling would be the wrong decision.

    (Most importantly, don’t act without first speaking to an advisor who is familiar with your circumstances and needs.  You must not rely on my musings – they could change in a moment and anyway, they relate only to me. My thoughts here are “insights” into the way I think about stocks and they don’t have you in mind.)

    By way of example, suppose you purchased the shares of a particular company many years ago at a significantly lower price than today’s price, rendering the yield now irreplaceable. What I mean, is that you bought the Reject Shop back in 2004 at $2.40.  The yield today is more than 25% on your purchase price.  And, what if the value is expected to rise to the current price in the next two (or three years)?  In this scenario, while it might seem a long time to wait for the value to catch up, it may be that the yield (based on the purchase price) is sufficient to warrant the wait.  Your personal circumstances are always relevant and on air, or here, I cannot know what your circumstances are.

    Of course, what I can do here is take a hypothetical portfolio and detail the quality, the value and the prospects of each company – all of them companies I have received from you multiple requests to value – based on my own approach.  It is the same as the detail I provide on my own Valueline portfolio in the Eureka Report for Alan Kohler, which I have now been publishing for eight months.  From here, the hypothetical investor could approach his or her financial adviser and have a chat about their circumstances, armed with additional and relevant information about some of the topics covered in that meeting.  If the adviser suggests the sale of stocks with losses for example, the investor so armed, can propose a response that involves selling the stocks (after receiving the advisor’s approval) displaying the highest premium to intrinsic value or with the least attractive prospects for intrinsic value.  Alternatively of course the advisor may recommend a completely different approach for you to take.

    So here is a theoretical portfolio:

    Mr XYZ’s Portfolio(intrinsic values can change at any time as more information becomes available)
    Company name Price Intrinsic Value Forecast Intrinsic Value

    (above current price/above current value)

    *If you believe analyst’s forecasts for sale,production and profits

    2yr forecast ROE range

    >20% preferred

    Net Debt/Equity

    <50% preferred

    AMP $6.25 $4.98 no/yes (2012) 34%/36% N/A
    ANZ $20.81 $17.73/$23.68## yes/yes (2012) 12%/16.4% N/A
    BHP $41.50 $36.44 yes/yes (2012) 27%/32% 14.4%
    Connect East $0.44 $0.00 no/no (2012) -2.2%/-5.9% N/A
    Fortesque $4.76 $2.09 yes/yes (2012) 33%/46% 210%
    Leightons $37.92 $32.18 yes/yes (2012) 24.6%/25.2% 34.3%
    NAB $24.88 $22.12 yes/yes (2012) 11%/15.4% N/A
    OZ Minerals $1.01 $0.06 no/yes (2011) 2.9%/9.4% 33.8%
    RIO $69.88 $42.01 yes/yes (2012) 17.8%/20.4% 182%
    Skilled Engineering $1.72 $0.66 no/yes (2012) 7.4%/11.8% 114.4%
    Santos $13.31 $3.59 no/yes (2012) 4.3%/5.2% 19.3%
    Suncorp $9.01 $5.18 no/yes (2012) 7.5%/8.5% N/A
    Transurban $5.23 $0.25 no/yes (2012) 1.5%/3.6% 113%
    Telstra $3.27 $3.12 yes/yes (2012) 31.6%/32.4% 130.7%
    Uranium Ex. (UXA) $0.05 $0.00 no/no (2012) n/a net cash
    Wesfarmers $28.45 $11.24 no/yes (2012) 6.3%/9.4% 14.7%
    Woodside $43.03 $26.42 yes/yes (2012) 12%/20.7% 40.5%
    CBA $52.84 $46.86 yes/yes (2012) 18.3%/21.2% N/A
    Myer $3.32 $2.76 no/yes (2012) 20.6%/23.5% 173.8%
    Bluescope $2.60 $0.53 yes/yes (2012) 2.9%/10.6% 13.3%
    Alesco $4.32 $1.88 no/yes (2012) 5.6%/8.6% 29.8%

    ##Read the following comments about the valuations:

    We’d all prefer intrinsic values that were cast in stone. Unfortunately, they’re not. The valuation depends on the input so to be safer, I always run my model using two data sets. Importantly, I only run ONE valuation formula. One valuation is based on estimates for next year’s result and the other is based on a continuation of the historical performance of the company. It gives me a ‘max’ and a ‘min’ – a kind of ‘range’ of valuations and that which Buffett has always advocated. The ‘historicals-continuing’ valuation version is useful where previous results have been volatile. The other reason for having this version is that I simply cannot get access to some companies or there are no analysts covering it – they can’t get access either or don’t want to, and so that’s when I have to use some progression or variation of past performance continuing. It’s the only way to get a valuation estimate for some companies. The idea is not to be perfect but to protect capital and do better than the market.  For example ANZ’s valuation based on a continuation of historical performance is $17.73, but based on forecasts is $23.68.  My preferred method of investing would be to buy at a discount to the most conservative valuation but if I can’t get that and valuations are rising strongly in future years I might invest a smaller proportion of my portfolio in first class business at a substantial discount to the upper valuation.

    I would be interested in hearing what you prefer to see. Would you prefer to see 1) the most conservative valuation only, 2) the valuation based on next year’s earnings forecast 3) based on the continuation of the historical performance of the company, or 4) both? Feel free to vote. What I like to use myself may not be what you want to see.

    Now, a couple of warnings.  Firstly, these valuations can change at any time and I may or may not update them here on the blog.  A company, for example, could announce a downgrade and the valuation would drop – potentially precipitously and I will probably busy doing something with my own portfolio(s) so do not under any circumstances rely on or expect these valuations being kept up to date here at all.  Second, my forthcoming book contains the information you need to calculate intrinsic value the way I do, so rather than ask me how I arrived at a valuation above, please wait for the book.  Third, don’t act on this information (which can and is likely to change without warning and without notifying you) – seek a professional advisor’s recommendation, preferably someone who knows you, your financial circumstances and needs.  Finally, valuing a company is not the same as predicting the direction of its shares.  Just because a company’s shares are lower than my valuation, does not mean the shares will go up. Conversely, a price that is well above my valuation doesn’t mean the share price is going to fall.

    Having said all that, I hope you found the theory and exercise stimulating and thought provoking.

    Posted by Roger Montgomery, 12 February 2010.

    (A REMINDER:  SOME WEBSITES AND COMPANIES MAY BE LEADING YOU AND OTHERS TO BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE SOME ASSOCIATION OR RELATIONSHIP WITH “ROGER MONTGOMERY” AND THAT BY PURCHASING OR SUBSCRIBING TO THEIR PRODUCT OR SERVICE, YOU WILL HAVE ACCESS TO MY THOUGHTS AND INSIGHTS.  IF THIS HAS HAPPENED TO YOU, LET ME KNOW.  YOU CAN LEAVE A MESSAGE HERE)

    by Roger Montgomery Posted in Companies, Insightful Insights.