What Fundamentals Would ben Graham Look for in ON Semiconductor (ON) Stock?

ON Semiconductor does not have the profile of a defensive investment based on the requirements of Ben Graham. The Semiconductors 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.

ON Semiconductor 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 (1.86) * 4 year average book value per share (14.327) = $24.49

After an impressive 6427.8% performance over the 12 months, ON Semiconductor is now trading well over its price because its Graham number is 342.0% above today's share price of $108.23. 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.

Impressive Growth, but Inconsistent Profitability and no Dividend

ON Semiconductor’s average sales revenue over the last 4 years has been $6.46 Billion, so by Graham’s standards the company is large enough to warrant an investment. When published in 1972, Graham’s threshold was $100 million in average sales, which would be the equivalent of around a half million dollars today. Needless to say, this is the least important of Graham's requirements, and may be overlooked by all but the most conservative investors.

More importantly, Ben Graham believed that a margin of safety could be obtained by investing in companies with consistently positive retained earnings. ON Semiconductor had negative retained earnings in 2013, 2014, and 2015 with an average of $162.59 Million over this period. So the company is not accumulating enough cash over time by Graham's standards.

Graham also required a 30% or more cumulative growth rate of the company's earnings per share over the last ten years.To determine ON Semiconductor's EPS growth over time, we will average out its EPS for 2008, 2009, and 2010, which were $-1.13, $0.14, and $0.14 respectively. This gives us an average of $-0.28 for the period of 2008 to 2010. Next, we compare this value with the average EPS reported in 2020, 2021, and 2022, which were $0.21, $2.27, and $4.25, for an average of $2.24. Now we see that ON Semiconductor's EPS growth was 900.0% during this period, which satisfies Ben Graham's requirement.

We have no record of ON Semiconductor offering a regular dividend.

Negative Current Asset to Liabilities Balance and an Excellent 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. ON Semiconductor fails on both counts with a current ratio of 2.8 and a debt to net current asset ratio of -72.3.


According to Graham's analysis, ON Semiconductor is likely a company of average quality, which does not offer a significant enough margin of safety for a risk averse investor.

2020-02-19 2021-02-16 2022-02-14 2023-02-06
Revenue (MM) $5,518 $5,255 $6,740 $8,326
Gross Margins 35.8% 32.6% 40.3% 49.0%
Operating Margins 11.5% 7.9% 20.2% 33.2%
Net Margins 3.84% 4.46% 14.98% 22.85%
Net Income (MM) $212 $234 $1,010 $1,902
Net Interest Expense (MM) -$138 -$164 -$129 -$79
Depreciation & Amort. (MM) -$593 -$625 -$597 -$552
Earnings Per Share $0.51 $0.56 $2.29 $4.07
EPS Growth n/a 9.8% 308.93% 77.73%
Diluted Shares (MM) 416 419 441 432
Free Cash Flow (MM) $1,227 $1,262 $2,213 $3,579
Capital Expenditures (MM) -$533 -$377 -$431 -$946
Net Current Assets (MM) -$2,081 -$1,926 -$1,240 -$42
Current Ratio 1.66 1.9 2.45 2.78
Long Term Debt (MM) $2,876 $2,960 $2,914 $3,046
Net Debt / EBITDA 3.09 2.23 1.08 0.13
The above analysis is intended for educational purposes only and was performed on the basis of publicly available data. It is not to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Any buy, sell, or other recommendations mentioned in the article are direct quotations of consensus recommendations from the analysts covering the stock, and do not represent the opinions of Market Inference or its writers. Past performance, accounting data, and inferences about market position and corporate valuation are not reliable indicators of future price movements. Market Inference does not provide financial advice. Investors should conduct their own review and analysis of any company of interest before making an investment decision.