Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Dividend Stock Analysis

Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of Apple Inc. (AAPL). Below are some highlights from the above linked analysis:

Company Description: Apple Inc. is a prominent provider of hardware including iPhone smartphones, iPad tablets, Mac computers, wearables and iPod digital media players.

Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

1. Avg. High Yield Price
2. 20-Year DCF Price
3. Avg. P/E Price
4. Graham Number

AAPL is trading at a premium to all four valuations above. When also considering the NPV MMA Differential, the stock is trading at a 216.9% premium to its calculated fair value of $55.21. AAPL did not earn any Stars in this section.

Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

1. Free Cash Flow Payout
2. Debt To Total Capital
3. Key Metrics
4. Dividend Growth Rate
5. Years of Div. Growth
6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%

AAPL earned no Stars in this section. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 2012 and has increased its dividend payments for 7 consecutive years.

Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

1. NPV MMA Diff.
2. Years to > MMA

The negative NPV MMA Diff. means that on a NPV basis the dividend earnings from an investment in AAPL would be less than a similar amount invested in MMA earning a 20-year average rate of 2.64%. If AAPL grows its dividend at 5.0% per year, it will never equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 2.64%.

Peers: The company's peer group includes: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) with a 2.0% yield, Oracle Corp. (ORCL) with a 1.6% yield and Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) with a 0.0% yield.

Conclusion: AAPL did not earn any Stars in the Fair Value section, did not earn any Stars in the Dividend Analytical Data section and did not earn any Stars in the Dividend Income vs. MMA section for a total of zero Star. This quantitatively ranks AAPL as a 0-Star Avoid stock.

Using my D4L-PreScreen.xls model, I determined the share price would need to decrease to $45.13 before AAPL's NPV MMA Differential increased to the $2,800 minimum that I look for in a stock with 7 years of consecutive dividend increases. At that price the stock would yield 5.6%.

Resetting the D4L-PreScreen.xls model and solving for the dividend growth rate needed to generate the target $2,800 NPV MMA Differential, the calculated rate is 17.4%. This dividend growth rate is higher than the 5.0% used in this analysis, thus providing no margin of safety. AAPL has a risk rating of 2.25 which classifies it as a Medium risk stock.

AAPL is a premium brand with high demand. It has a strong product pipeline with the opportunity to gain share in many end markets. With a low free cash flow of 26% (up from 24%), relatively low debt to total capital of 46% (up from 40%) and large cash holdings, AAPL in well positioned to grow its dividend for years to come. AAPL short dividend growth history keeps it out of my Dividend Growth Portfolio. The stock is a buy below its calculated fair value price of $55.21. As such, I will not likely to add to my position in the stock in the near future.

Disclaimer: Material presented here is for informational purposes only. The above quantitative stock analysis, including the Star rating, is mechanically calculated and is based on historical information. The analysis assumes the stock will perform in the future as it has in the past. This is generally never true. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. See my Disclaimer for more information.

Full Disclosure: At the time of this writing, I was long in AAPL (12.8% of my High Dividend Growth Portfolio). See a list of all my Dividend Growth Portfolio holdings here.

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