Olin does not have the profile of a defensive investment based on the requirements of Ben Graham. The Specialty Industrial Machinery firm may nonetheless be of interest to more risk-oriented investors who have a solid thesis on the company's future growth. At Market Inference, we remain agnostic as to such further developments, and prefer to use a company's past track record as the bellwether for future potential gains.
Olin Is Probably Overvalued
Graham devised the below equation to give investors a quick way of determining whether a stock is trading at a fair multiple of its earnings and its assets:
√(22.5 * 4 year average earnings per share (2.67) * 4 year average book value per share (19.226) = $33.99
At today's price of $54.46 per share, Olin is now trading 60.2% above the maximum price that Graham would have wanted to pay for the stock.
Even though the stock does not trade at an attractive multiple, it might still meet some of the other criteria for quality stocks that Graham listed in Chapter 14 of The Intelligent Investor.
Positive Retained Earnings, A Solid Record Of Dividends, and EPS Growth In Excess Of Graham'S Requirements
Ben Graham wrote that an investment in a company with a record of positive retained earnings could contribute significantly to the margin of safety. The company's retained earnings have averaged $644.83 Million over the last ten years.
Another one of Graham's requirements is for a 30% or more cumulative growth rate of the company's earnings per share over the last ten years.To determine Olin's EPS growth over time, we will average out its EPS for 2008, 2009, and 2010, which were $2.07, $1.73, and $0.02 respectively. This gives us an average of $1.27 for the period of 2008 to 2010. Next, we compare this value with the average EPS reported in 2020, 2021, and 2022, which were $-6.14, $7.96, and $8.94, for an average of $3.59. Now we see that Olin's EPS growth was 182.68% during this period, which satisfies Ben Graham's requirement.
Olin has offered a regular dividend since at least 2010. The company has returned an average dividend yield of 3.2% over the last five years.
Negative Current Asset to Liabilities Balance and an Average Current Ratio
Graham sought companies with extremely low debt levels compared to their assets. For one, he expected their current ratio to be over 2 and their long term debt to net current asset ratio to be near, or ideally under, under 1. Olin fails on both counts with a current ratio of 1.4 and a debt to net current asset ratio of -0.8.
According to Graham's analysis, Olin is likely a company of decent quality, which does not offer a significant enough margin of safety for a risk averse investor.
|Depreciation & Amort.||-$597,400||-$568,400||-$582,500||-$598,800|
|Earnings Per Share||-$0.07||-$6.14||$7.96||$8.94|
|Free Cash Flow||$231,700||$119,500||$1,540,400||$1,685,000|
|Net Current Assets||-$5,056,300||-$5,101,500||-$3,617,200||-$3,344,200|
|Long Term Debt||$3,338,700||$3,837,500||$2,578,200||$2,571,000|
|Net Debt / EBITDA||3.99||-23.52||1.08||1.02|