Bill Nygren Comments on National Oilwell Varco
National Oilwell is one of the world’s largest providers of equipment for oil and gas drilling. Drill rig equipment accounts for about half its sales with the other half a diverse assortment of pipes, pumps, tools, consumables and a distribution business. Last year the stock reached $90, which was 14 times earnings plus amortization. Earnings in the first half of this year are expected to be down about 5%, primarily due to decreased drilling caused by lower natural gas prices. Despite the relatively small dip in earnings, the stock fell 30% to a low of $63 this past quarter. We expect earnings to begin to recover later this year, and we believe that next year could be the most profitable in the company’s history. Earnings growth should be led by a rebound in the global land rig count, continued strong deepwater equipment orders and the benefits reaped from several meaningful acquisitions. Though National Oilwell’s stock has recovered somewhat, it is still priced at less than 10 times estimated 2014 earnings plus amortization. Given that National Oilwell controls more than 50% of the deepwater equipment market and the company’s very high returns on tangible capital, we believe the current valuation is attractive.
From Bill Nygren's second quarter 2013 commentary.