The practical significance of book value. Plus 15 book values of stocks mention on this blog.

There is no hard fast rule for price to book value ratios, but lower is definitely better.  I like the ratio too be less than 2.0.  Here is a list of many of the high dividend stocks mentioned on this blog with their most recent price, book value (BV)/share, Price/BV ratio, and dividend yield.  The results might surprise you.  Most of the book values per share are as of December 21st, 2010 unless otherwise noted.

Ticker              Price                BV/share         P/BV   Div. yield

=================================================

AGNC            $28.58             $24.24             1.18     19.51%

SB                   $8.26               $3.86               2.14     6.79%

SDRL              $34.42             $9.78               3.52     5.6%

TNH                $108.96           $11.35             9.6       4.94%

EXC                $39.97             $20.45             1.95     5.13%

FE                   $37.90             $28.02             1.35     5.99%

FRO                $22.59             $9.57               2.36     1.62%

MCD               $76.66             $13.55             5.66     3.27%

NGG               $48.80             $12.87 (ttm)    3.79     4.28%

PM                  $65.90             $1.90               34.68   4.01%

PCL                 $42.13             $8.47               4.97     3.96%

TNK                $10.15             $10.46             0.97     9.02%

VOD               $28.85             $17.06 (ttm)    1.69     3.18%

WIN                $12.41             $1.77               7.01     7.73%

T                      $30.27             $18.80             1.61     6.11%

Excelon (EXC), First Energy (FE), Teekay Tankers (TNK), and AT&T (T) warrant further examination for their high dividend yields and low price/book value ratios.

Philip Morris (PM) has an extremely high price/book value ratio which needs to be examined to make sure it’s not some weird artifact of how Google Finance and Morningstar display financial information.

Here is quick excerpt for Chapter 42 of Security Analysis 2nd edition on the practical significance of book value.

* * * * * * *

Practical Significance of Book Value. The book value of a common stock was originally the most important element in its financial exhibit. It was supposed to show “the value” of the shares in the same way as a merchant’s balance sheet shows him the value of his business. This idea has almost completely disappeared from the financial horizon. The value of a company’s assets as carried in its balance sheet has lost practically all its significance. This change arose from the fact, first, that the value of the fixed assets, as stated, frequently bore no relationship to the actual cost and, secondly, that in an even larger proportion of cases these values bore no relationship to the figure at which they would be sold or the figure which would be justified by the earnings. The practice of inflating the book value of the fixed property is giving way to the opposite artifice of cutting it down to nothing in order to avoid depreciation charges, but both have the same consequence of depriving the book-value figures of any real significance. It is a bit strange, like a quaint survival from the past, that the leading statistical services still maintain the old procedure of calculating the book value per share of common stock from many, perhaps most, balance sheets that they publish.

* * * * * * *

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Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  

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