Chart Industries: A Ben Graham Value Buy

07/23/2015 8:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

John Reese

Founder and CEO, Validea.com And Validea Capital Management

John Reese, editor of Validea, assesses stock picks based on the time-tested strategies of many of the stock’s market’s most legendary investors. This featured recommendation earns a 100% score based on Benjamin Graham’s value criteria.

Chart Industries (GTLS) is a diversified global manufacturer of engineered equipment for the industrial gas, energy, and biomedical industries.

The company manufactures products used in energy-related and industrial applications, such as the separation, liquefaction, distribution, and storage of hydrocarbon and industrial gases.

Chart's equipment and engineered systems are primarily used for low-temperature and cryogenic applications. Its biomedical segment supplies equipment used in the medical, biological research, and animal breeding industries.

The Ben Graham value strategy avoids technology and financial stocks. The investor must select companies of adequate size. This includes companies with annual sales greater than $340 million. GTLS passes these initial tests.

The current ratio must be greater than or equal to 2. Companies that meet this criterion are typically financially secure and defensive. GTLS's current ratio is 2.22.

For industrial companies, long-term debt must not exceed net current assets (current assets minus current liabilities).

Companies that meet this criterion display one of the attributes of a financially secure organization. The long-term debt for GTLS is $206.9 million, while the net current assets are $336.1 million. As such, GTLS passes this test.

Companies must increase their EPS by at least 30% over a ten-year period and EPS must not have been negative for any year within the last five years.

Companies with this type of growth tend to be financially secure and have proven themselves over time. Chart Industries’ EPS growth over that period of 166.8% passes the EPS growth test.

The P/E ratio, based on the greater of the current P/E or the P/E using average earnings over the last three fiscal years, must not be greater than 15.

Stocks with moderate P/Es are more defensive by nature. GTLS's P/E of 13.94 (using the current P/E) passes this test.

The Price/Book ratio must also be reasonable. That is, the Price/Book multiplied by P/E cannot be greater than 22.

GTLS's Price/Book ratio is 1.18, while the P/E is 13.94. Therefore, Chart Industries also passes the Price/Book test.

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