In his excellent book One Up on Wall Street, Peter Lynch, the best mutual fund manager ever, revealed a powerful charting tool that helped him to achieve a gain of 29.2% in his portfolios for 13 years. In this chart, Peter Lynch drew the stock price and the earnings per share together and aligned the value of $1 in earnings per share to $15 in stock price. He wrote in pages 164-165 of the book:
“A quick way to tell if a stock is overpriced is to compare the price line to the earnings line. If you bought familiar growth companies – such as Shoney’s, The Limited, or Marriott – when the stock price fell well below the earnings line, and sold them when the stock price rose dramatically above it, the chances are you’d do pretty well.”
To see how this Peter Lynch Chart works, we applied it to the top holdings of Warren Buffett, the most successful investor ever: Wells Fargo (WFC), Coca-Cola (KO), IBM (IBM), American Express (AXP) and Wal-Mart (WMT). The Peter Lynch Chart of Wells Fargo is below, where the green line is the Price Line, and the blue line is the Peter Lynch Earnings Line. When the Price Line is well below the Peter Lynch Earnings Line, the stock is a buy.
Among these top five holdings of Warren Buffett, we found that Wells Fargo is the most undervalued. Wal-Mart and IBM are about fair valued. We then compared this result with the trading activities of Warren Buffett. To our surprise, we found that Warren Buffett was buying Well Fargo heavily and adding to Wal-Mart and IBM.
We don’t know the answer to the question. But we know that great minds think alike!
Now this powerful charting tool is available at GuruFocus.com. You can create it in just two clicks for any of the more than 50,000 stocks covered by GuruFocus.com.
We applied this tool to the portfolios of George Soros, Carl Icahn and other investment Gurus tracked at GuruFocus.com. We even developed a screen for this strategy that makes it easy to find stocks that are traded well below Peter Lynch’s Earnings Line.
Certainly buying stocks that are traded well below their Earnings Line is not the only criterion Peter Lynch used to achieve his 29%-a-year results. We also added his other requirements such as strong balance sheet and solid growth into the screener. When I limit my Peter Lynch screen to only the stocks that are owned by Warren Buffett, I found seven othereight companies that Warren Buffett owns and Peter Lynch would be buying. All of these eight companies have strong balance sheet, solid growth and reasonable valuations. One of them is of course Wells Fargo. Warren Buffett loves it so much that he made it his largest holding.
Now both Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch are working for me! I have added these stocks to my watch list.
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