The stock of Mercer International (NAS:MERC, 30-year Financials) is believed to be significantly overvalued, according to GuruFocus Value calculation. GuruFocus Value is GuruFocus' estimate of the fair value at which the stock should be traded. It is calculated based on the historical multiples that the stock has traded at, the past business growth and analyst estimates of future business performance. If the price of a stock is significantly above the GF Value Line, it is overvalued and its future return is likely to be poor. On the other hand, if it is significantly below the GF Value Line, its future return will likely be higher. At its current price of $15.78 per share and the market cap of $1 billion, Mercer International stock gives every indication of being significantly overvalued. GF Value for Mercer International is shown in the chart below.
Because Mercer International is significantly overvalued, the long-term return of its stock is likely to be much lower than its future business growth, which averaged 6.6% over the past three years and is estimated to grow 3.46% annually over the next three to five years.
Companies with poor financial strength offer investors a high risk of permanent capital loss. To avoid permanent capital loss, an investor must do their research and review a company's financial strength before deciding to purchase shares. Both the cash-to-debt ratio and interest coverage of a company are a great way to to understand its financial strength. Mercer International has a cash-to-debt ratio of 0.30, which which ranks in the middle range of the companies in Forest Products industry. The overall financial strength of Mercer International is 4 out of 10, which indicates that the financial strength of Mercer International is poor. This is the debt and cash of Mercer International over the past years:
Investing in profitable companies carries less risk, especially in companies that have demonstrated consistent profitability over the long term. Typically, a company with high profit margins offers better performance potential than a company with low profit margins. Mercer International has been profitable 6 years over the past 10 years. During the past 12 months, the company had revenues of $1.4 billion and loss of $0.27 a share. Its operating margin of 4.48% in the middle range of the companies in Forest Products industry. Overall, GuruFocus ranks Mercer International's profitability as fair. This is the revenue and net income of Mercer International over the past years:
Growth is probably one of the most important factors in the valuation of a company. GuruFocus' research has found that growth is closely correlated with the long-term performance of a company's stock. If a company's business is growing, the company usually creates value for its shareholders, especially if the growth is profitable. Likewise, if a company's revenue and earnings are declining, the value of the company will decrease. Mercer International's 3-year average revenue growth rate is better than 73% of the companies in Forest Products industry. Mercer International's 3-year average EBITDA growth rate is -6.8%, which ranks worse than 71% of the companies in Forest Products industry.
Another way to evaluate a company's profitability is to compare its return on invested capital (ROIC) to its weighted cost of capital (WACC). Return on invested capital (ROIC) measures how well a company generates cash flow relative to the capital it has invested in its business. The weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is the rate that a company is expected to pay on average to all its security holders to finance its assets. If the ROIC is higher than the WACC, it indicates that the company is creating value for shareholders. Over the past 12 months, Mercer International's ROIC was 6.60, while its WACC came in at 7.00. The historical ROIC vs WACC comparison of Mercer International is shown below:
In summary, Mercer International (NAS:MERC, 30-year Financials) stock shows every sign of being significantly overvalued. The company's financial condition is poor and its profitability is fair. Its growth ranks worse than 71% of the companies in Forest Products industry. To learn more about Mercer International stock, you can check out its 30-year Financials here.
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