Benjamin Graham Net-Net Working Capital Screener

What are Benjamin Graham's Net Current Asset Value Bargains?

In The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham discussed the methods he used in his investment firm Graham_Newman. One is them is what he called Net-Current-Asset (Or “Bargain”) issues. He wrote:

The idea here was to acquire as many issues as possible at a cost for each of less than their book value in terms of net-current-assets alone – i.e., giving no value to the plant account and other assets. Our purchases were made typically at two-thirds or less of such stripped-down asset value. In most years we carried a wide diversification here – at least 100 different issues.

Graham’s “net current asset value” approach, apparently works very well. One research study, covering the years 1970 through 1983 showed that portfolios picked at the beginning of each year, and held for one year, returned 29.4 percent, on average, over the 13-year period, compared to 11.5 percent for the S&P 500 Index. Other studies of Graham’s strategy produced similar results.

Ben Graham loved these types of situations, defining the Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) or Liquation value as:

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) = Current Assets - total liabilities

and Net Cash as

Net Cash = Cash and short-term investments - total liabilities

Ben Graham loved these types of situations, defining the net-net working capital (NNWC) value as:

Net-Net Working Capital (NNWC) = Cash and short-term investments + (0.75 * accounts receivable) + (0.5 * inventory) - total liabilities

Graham looked for companies whose market values were less than two-thirds of that net-net value.

With this in mind, GuruFocus has created a Graham Net-Net Working Capital screener to filter out the companies that meets the net-net value criteria. The rules are:

  • The stock prices are less than the net current asset value of the companies – Benjamin Graham. The companies with Price/NNWC between 100% to 300% are also displayed for you to get more investment ideas.
  • During the past 12 months, the companies generated positive operating cashflow. The ones with negative operating cashflow is also displayed.
  • The company has no meaningful debt compared to its cash position.
  • According to Benjamin Graham, some of these companies may well go under as economic conditions worsen, it is important to hold a diversified group of them.

The performance of the stocks can be seen in user portfolios, described in this article


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Symbol Company Price Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) Price/NCAV (%) Net-Net Working Captial (NNWC) Price/NNWC (%) Oprt. Cash Flow per share(12m) ($) Market Cap ($mil)
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only4.07$3.4985.7-1.1369.135
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only4.01$3.4886.80.357.771
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only0.97$0.8587.6-1.1120.634
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only6.44$5.6888.21.7683.928
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only0.48$0.4389.6-0.167.337
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only0.39$0.3589.7-0.250.530
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only4.90$4.4089.80.0917.727
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only1.93$1.7590.7-0.0229.990
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only0.44$0.4090.9-0.487.304
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only0.58$0.5391.4-0.04142.002
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only0.41$0.3892.7-0.051.960
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only0.42$0.3992.90.154.492
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only16.58$15.4393.12.22252.228
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only0.75$0.72960.107.199
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only0.78$0.7798.70.0217.732
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only2.48$2.4699.20.02129.960
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only5.30$5.2899.60.00356.442
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only3.57$3.63101.70.687.130
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only1.60$1.68105-1.2728.512
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only0.85$0.92108.2-1.2035.769
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only0.46$0.50108.7-0.0519.657
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only1.65$1.80109.10.5726.036
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only4.82$5.26109.1-1.82143.484
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only5.90$6.48109.80.3632.532
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only5.01$5.55110.8-2.42198.314
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only16.98$18.95111.62.0914.697
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only2.37$2.69113.5-1.084.949
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only3.85$4.40114.30.00455.532
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only4.30$5.07117.9-0.04131.349
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only4.58$5.43118.6-1.7723.979

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User Comments

ReplyPhilip_hettich@facebook - 4 months ago
do you mind sending me a copy to [email protected] since I cannot access the article with my university. Would love to read it!
ReplyFabian36 - 4 months ago
is it possible to replicate the exact settings of the screener with the All-in-One-Screener?
I have trouble to transfer the rules to it?
Best Regards!
ReplyRick007 - 7 months ago
NEWBIES: Note that the downloadable Ben Graham Net-Net Bargains Newsletter IS ONE YEAR OLD!

Not at the fault of anyone but myself, I almost made a big mistake thinking I was reading current information on a company.
ReplyJonathan.dudzinski@google - 8 months ago
I wrote a research paper on Net-net investing that you might find interesting:
ReplyAmt2100 - 1 year ago
The Add or remove tickers list only shows the first page of tickers. It should have the entire list of results.
Second problem, the Export function gives erroneous tickers that aren't even on the list. Not a couple, most of them.
ReplyLibertadpp - 2 years ago
The Ben Graham Net-Net Bargains Newsletter is using Tangible Book, NOT NCAV, there is a big difference. Some stocks are not possible to trade, or they doesn't give information to the SEC.
ReplyAsalguero - 2 years ago
Why when i export to excel, the excel file is different that i see in the screen???

Please help!
ReplyRichday101 - 2 years ago
May 21/2013 - Benjamin Graham Net Current Asset Value Screener
ReplyCommodity - 6 years ago
Go to Stingey

Simple Graham - pe of 15 or less - debt to equity of 50% or less.
ReplyLiarspoker - 6 years ago
Crickey - that's one mother of a formula !!

I have a list of net net stocks gathered by the formula ( Current Assets - All Liabilities ) - 30% not really taking account for each current asset entry.

I am reworking my list using the new formula and most stocks are falling short !! Lucky I am only researching atm.

Where is that formula from btw ? Security analysis ?

Many thanks for the food for thought. :O)

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