A High Dividend Yield, But a Sell Recommendation for Safety Insurance Group

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Oct 08, 2014
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In a recent article from MarketWatch titled “10 S&P 1500 dividend stocks with yields up to 9.14%,” it was analyzed the highest-yielding companies that have declared dividends for at least the past five full calendar years and not discontinue them in the last four years.

So, in this article, let´s consider one of that list – Safety Insurance Group Inc. (

SAFT, Financial) – and we will take a look at a model that is applicable to stable, mature, dividend-paying firms and try to find the intrinsic value of the stock. Although the model has a number of characteristics that make it useful and appropriate for many applications, it is by no means the be-all and end-all for valuation. The purpose is to force investors to evaluate different assumptions about growth and future prospects.

Valuation

In stock valuation models, dividend discount models (DDM) define cash flow as the dividends to be received by the shareholders. Extending the period indefinitely, the fundamental value of the stock is the present value of an infinite stream of dividends according to John Burr Williams.

Although this is theoretically correct, it requires forecasting dividends for many periods, so we can use some growth models like: Gordon (constant) growth model, the Two- or Three-Stage growth model or the H-Model (which is a special case of a two-stage model). With the appropriate model, we can forecast dividends up to the end of the investment horizon where we no longer have confidence in the forecasts and then forecast a terminal value based on some other method, such as a multiple of book value or earnings.

To start with, the Gordon growth model (GGM) assumes that dividends increase at a constant rate indefinitely.

This formula condenses to: V0=(D0 (1+g))/(r-g)=D1/(r-g)

where:

V0 = fundamental value

D0 = last year dividends per share of Exxon's common stock

r = required rate of return on the common stock

g = dividend growth rate

Let´s estimate the inputs for modeling:

Required Rate of Return (r)

The capital asset pricing model (CAPM) estimates the required return on equity using the following formula: required return on stockj = risk-free rate + beta of j x equity risk premium

Assumptions:

Risk-Free Rate: Rate of return on LT Government Debt: RF = 2.67%. This is a very low rate because of today´s context. Since 1900, yields have ranged from a little less than 2% to 15%; with an average rate of 4.9%. So I think it is more appropriate to use this rate.

Beta: β =1.07

GGM equity risk premium = (1-year forecasted dividend yield on market index) +(consensus long-term earnings growth rate) – (long-term government bond yield) = 2.13% + 11.97% - 2.67% = 11.43%[1]

rSAFT = RF + βSAFT [GGM ERP]

= 4.9% + 1.07 [11.43%]

= 17.13%

Dividend growth rate (g)

The sustainable growth rate is the rate at which earnings and dividends can grow indefinitely assuming that the firm´s debt-to-equity ratio is unchanged and it doesn´t issue new equity.

g = b x ROE

b = retention rate

ROE = (Net Income)/Equity= ((Net Income)/Sales).(Sales/(Total Assets)).((Total Assets)/Equity)

The “PRAT” Model:

g= ((Net Income-Dividends)/(Net Income)).((Net Income)/Sales).(Sales/(Total Assets)).((Total Assets)/Equity)

Let´s collect the information we need to get the dividend growth rate:

Financial Data (USD $ in millions)

31-Dec-13

31-Dec-12

31-Dec-11

Cash dividends declared

36,865

33,634

30,322

Net income applicable to common shares

61,351

58,070

13,702

Net sales

745,284

703,867

660,158

Total assets

1,625,457

1,574,346

1,472,494

Total Shareholders' equity

695,187

694,359

656,313

Ratios

     

Retention rate

0.40

0.42

-1.21

Profit margin

0.08

0.08

0.02

Asset turnover

0.46

0.45

0.45

Financial leverage

2.34

2.33

2.25

       

Retention rate = (Net Income – Cash dividends declared) ÷ Net Income =

0.40

       

Profit margin = Net Income ÷ Net sales =

0.08

   
       

Asset turnover = Net sales ÷ Total assets =

0.46

   
       

Financial leverage = Total assets ÷ Total Shareholders' equity =

2.34

 
       

Averages

     

Retention rate

-0.13

   

Profit margin

0.06

   

Asset turnover

0.45

   

Financial leverage

2.31

   
       

g = Retention rate × Profit margin × Asset turnover × Financial leverage

 
       

Dividend growth rate

-0.84%

   
       

Because for most companies, the GGM is unrealistic, let´s consider the H-Model which assumes a growth rate that starts high and then declines linearly over the high growth stage, until it reverts to the long-run rate. A smoother transition to the mature phase growth rate that is more realistic.

Dividend growth rate (g) implied by Gordon growth model (long-run rate)

With the GGM formula and simple math:

g = (P0.r - D0)/(P0+D0)

= ($54.81 ×17.13% – $2.8) ÷ ($54.81 + $2.8) = 11.44%.

The growth rates are:

Year

Value

g(t)

1

g(1)

-0.84%

2

g(2)

2.23%

3

g(3)

5.30%

4

g(4)

8.37%

5

g(5)

11.44%

G(2), g(3) and g(4) are calculated using linear interpolation between g(1) and g(5).

Calculation of Intrinsic Value

Year

Value

Cash Flow

Present value

0

Div 0

2.80

 

1

Div 1

2.78

2.37

2

Div 2

2.84

2.07

3

Div 3

2.99

1.86

4

Div 4

3.24

1.72

5

Div 5

3.61

1.64

5

Terminal Value

70.65

32.04

Intrinsic value

   

41.70

Current share price

   

54.81

Final comment

I would recommend buying a stock only when it's selling at a decent margin of safety to your estimate of its fair value. But in this case, we found the opposite situation, intrinsic value is lower than the share price, so the stock is said to be overvalued and subject to a potential sale.

We have covered just one valuation method and investors should not be relied on alone in order to determine a fair (over/under) value for a potential investment.

The fund Manning & Napier Advisors, Inc sold out the stock in the first quarter of 2014.

Disclosure: Omar Venerio holds no position in any stocks mentioned.


[1] This values where obtained from Blommberg´s CRP function.

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