1. How to use GuruFocus - Tutorials
  2. What Is in the GuruFocus Premium Membership?
  3. A DIY Guide on How to Invest Using Guru Strategies
Articles (1311) 

Peter Lynch Fair Value – Value Companies with Peter Lynch’s Simple Rule of Thumb

July 11, 2012 | About:

In our new Valuation Box feature we are displaying a valuation parameter called “Peter Lynch Fair Value.” In the updated 10-year financial page we have also added the historical quarterly Peter Lynch Fair Value of companies. We have gotten a lot of questions about “Peter Lynch Fair Value,” so we would like to clarify the concept with this article.

Before we start, this is the valuation box for WalMart (NYSE:WMT).


How to calculate “Peter Lynch Fair Value”?

Peter Lynch Fair Value is calculated based on Lynch’s famous rule of thumb: He is willing to buy a growth company at a P/E multiple that is equal to its growth rate. Therefore, to Peter Lynch, at fair value, the PEG ratio of a growth company should be 1.

Because of this, the calculation of Peter Lynch Fair Value is very straightforward. It simply equals to the growth rate multiplied by its earnings. That is:

Peter Lynch Fair Value = Earnings Growth Rate * Earnings.

Therefore, if a company grows its earnings 20% a year, to Peter Lynch, its fair valuation is 20 times its earnings.

In our articles New Feature Added: Valuation Box and How to calculate the intrinsic value of a stock?, we wrote the formula in this format:

Peter Lynch Fair Value = PEG * Earnings Growth Rate * Earnings.

In this formula, PEG =1, as we should note even more.

What you need to know about “Peter Lynch Fair Value”

Please note that we use EBITDA growth rate as the earnings growth rate here. The reason we use EBITDA growth rate is because this rate is less subject to management manipulations and distortions from one-time corporate events.

Just as any other valuation methods we use in the Valuation Box, Peter Lynch Fair Value has its limitations. It tends to underestimate slower growing companies, and overestimate fast growing companies. And it assumes that the company will grow in the future as fast as it did in the past, which is usually not the case.

In our calculations, we only apply Peter Lynch Fair Value to companies that grow between 8% a year and 25% a year. If a company grows faster than 25% a year, e.g. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR), we use 25 for the PE multiple.

Peter Lynch Fair Value has been displayed for all the stocks when this is applicable. It is also in the new “Valuations” tab for Gurus’ portfolios. For instance, Peter Lynch Fair Values of all Warren Buffett’s stocks are here.

Rating: 4.1/5 (9 votes)


Leroy.61 - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
Hi, great post.

Anyway Peter Lynch included also the dividend yield, the growth rate resulting the sum of the two.

John Neff used practically the same ratio, taking into consideration the earnings growth and the dividend

yield scaled the p/e ratio of the company. They also suggested the optimal ratio between the two figures

was less than 1. It is a very effective rule of thumb, and also gives enough margin of safety considering that if the ratio is significantly less than one there's room to profit also from the p/e multiple expansion.

Cjmitchell86 - 5 years ago    Report SPAM

what growth rate do you use? y/y? 3 YEAR CAGR? 5 year CAGR? 10 year CAGR?....
Gurufocus premium member - 5 years ago
"what growth rate do you use? y/y? 3 YEAR CAGR? 5 year CAGR? 10 year CAGR?...."

As pointed out, 5-year CAGR on EBITDA.

Cjmitchell86 - 5 years ago    Report SPAM

In defense of my question, EBITDA was pointed out, the duration of growth was not.

Please leave your comment:

Performances of the stocks mentioned by GuruFocus

User Generated Screeners

jjandhbEarnings power value
jlhpersonal11/2017 - 6 Month Mechanical P
avstudio1Nov 24-try 1
sonderek50 ROC
rael2222PUNTO G2
pbarker461 Dividend, ptbv, rsi
Get WordPress Plugins for easy affiliate links on Stock Tickers and Guru Names | Earn affiliate commissions by embedding GuruFocus Charts
GuruFocus Affiliate Program: Earn up to $400 per referral. ( Learn More)

GF Chat