One of the cheapest stocks in our All Investable Stock Screener is Argan Inc (NYSE:AGX).
Argan, Inc. (Argan) is a holding company. The company conducts operations through its subsidiaries, Gemma Power Systems, LLC and affiliates (GPS), Atlantic Projects Company Limited (APC), Southern Maryland Cable, Inc. (SMC) and The Roberts Company (Roberts or TRC). The company’s segments include power industry services, industrial fabrication and field services, and telecommunications infrastructure services.
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A quick look at Argan’s share price history over the past twelve months shows that the price is up 47%, but here’s why the company remains undervalued.
The following data is from the company’s latest financial statements, dated March 2017.
As always I like to start with the balance sheet. The latest balance sheet shows that Argan has $167 Million in cash and cash equivalents and $396 Million in short term investments which equates to $563 Million in cash and cash equivalents. Further down the balance sheet we can see that the company has zero debt. Therefore Argan has a net cash and cash equivalents position of $563 Million (cash minus debt).
Argan currently has a market cap of $943 Million, so if we subtract the net cash and cash equivalents totaling $563 Million we get an Enterprise Value of $380 Million.
While we’re still on the balance sheet, for the most recent quarter ending March 2017 Argan had net income of $79 Million (ttm). At the same time the company had total equity of $314 Million (ttm) compared to $292 Million for the previous quarter ending January 2017. That equates to an annualized return on equity (ROE) for the quarter ending March 2017 of 26%.
If we move over to the company’s latest income statements we can see that Argan had $124 Million in operating earnings over the trailing twelve months which means that the company is currently trading on an Acquirer’s Multiple of 3.06, or 3.06 times operating earnings. That places Argan squarely in undervalued territory.
The Acquirer’s Multiple is defined as:
Enterprise Value/Operating Earnings*
*We make adjustments to operating earnings by constructing an operating earnings figure from the top of the income statement down, where EBIT and EBITDA are constructed from the bottom up. Calculating operating earnings from the top down standardizes the metric, making a comparison across companies, industries and sectors possible, and, by excluding special items–income that a company does not expect to recur in future years–ensures that these earnings are related only to operations.
In addition to Argan’s very strong balance sheet it’s also important to note that if we take a look at the company’s latest cash flow statements we can see that Argan generated trailing twelve month operating cash flow of $256 Million and had just $4 Million (ttm) in Capex. That equates to $252 Million in trailing twelve month free cash flow, or a FCF/EV Yield of 66%. Further highlighting that Argan remains undervalued.
To provide some context on Argan’s current financial position here’s some historical comparisons.
- Argan’s trailing twelve month revenue of $775 Million is the highest in the company’s history
- Argan’s trailing twelve month net income of $79 Million is also the highest in the company’s history
- Argan’s trailing twelve month EPS of $5 has grown 646% since 2012
- Argan’s trailing twelve month Book Value per share of $20.25 has grown 173% since 2012
- Argan’s trailing twelve month free cash flow of $252 Million has grown 227% since 2012
Argan is a on a solid growth path. The company has a very strong balance sheet with zero debt and ability to generate loads of free cash flow. Based on its latest trailing twelve revenues of $775 Million, Argan converts $0.32 cents of every dollar into free cash flow. The company remains financially strong, as of today Argan has a Piotroski F-Score of 6, an Altman Z-Score of 3.89, and a Beneish M-Score of -3.50.
In terms of Argan’s valuation. The company is currently trading on a P/E of 12.1, a P/S of 1.2, a FCF/EV Yield of 66%, an ROE of 26%, and an Acquirer’s Multiple of 3.06, or 3.06 times operating earnings, all of which places Argan squarely in undervalued territory. The company also provides a nice little dividend yield of 2%.
Disclosure: I am long Argan Inc.
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Article by The Acquirer's Multiple