Friday, February 25, 2011

Colgate-Palmolive - Part 4


Finally, we have here a quick cheatsheet of Colgate's financials.

Basically, it's a company earning USD 4bn on a revenue base of USD 16bn every year and we can expect this to grow maybe 13-15% for the next few years. This growth factors in all we have talked about, including P&G's entrance, GDP growth etc.

Toothpaste is a business that doesn't need a lot of capex, so basically free cash flow is used to pay shareholders. It's free cash flow is about USD 2.4bn, and the FCF yield is 6%.

The interesting part about Colgate's financials would be its balance sheet. Some would argue that it's not exactly great. Debt at USD 3.4bn is greater than its equity of USD 2.8bn. So isn't this risky?

My take is that the management has basically optimized the balance sheet to the hilt. Why is the equity so low? If you notice, equity at USD 2.8bn is the same as a single year's net profit.

This implies that the co. has been paying back equity to its investors. Bcos the business doesn't need money to grow. Whatever excess money made is paid back to shareholders. Although dividend is 3%, Free cashflow yield is actually 6%, I am guessing that the other 3% is used to buy back shares.

And the debt of USD 3.4bn can be easily paid back in less than 2 yrs, using its free cashflow.

However, having analyzed all these, I must admit Colgate is not cheap. PE is 13x two years out, while growth is also roughly 13%. Looking at other measures, EV/EBITDA is a good 10x. This stock is simply trading at its intrinsic value.

The bet here is that the intrinsic value will grow over time. From its track record, it doubles every 8 years or so. Given its current outlook, with growth from emerging markets and some margin improvement, it might take a little shorter than that.

So buy Colgate-Palmolive, get that 3% dividend and see it double to 6% in 6 years and double again to 12% in 12 years! That's a Dividend Aristocrat for you.
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