Back to Main

Valuing Prem Watsa's Portfolio - Tangible Book Value

By: GuruFocus
Posted: 7/3/2012 6:45:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: C;CISG;CITZ;PTEN;RIMM

Tangible Book Value was a concept important to Ben Graham, often considered the founder of value investing. Because it helps investors identify cheap stocks, GuruFocus has included it on the new Valuations Tab , which automatically finds important data about the stocks in each gurus' portfolio.

Tangible Book Value is defined as book value minus intangible assets such as goodwill. It essentially shows the amount that would go to shareholders should the company go bankrupt and liquidate its assets. It does not include intangible assets since, valuable though they may be, they cannot be sold if the company goes out of business.

Ben Graham advised to only purchase stocks trading at two-thirds of tangible book value per share. Prem Watsa , founder of Fairfax Financial and Ben Graham devotee, has several stocks in his portfolio that, if not at two-thirds of tangible book value, are trading for at least less than tangible book.

These stocks are:

Company Price Tangible Book
Research In Motion ( RIMM ) $7.35 $12.40
CFS Bancorp ( CITZ ) $4.54 $9.50
Citigroup $27.65 $50.80
Cninsure ( CISG ) $6.89 $8.80
Patterson-UTI Energy ( PTEN ) $14.79 $15.70
Nam Tai Electronics ( NTE ) $6.02 $6.80
Old Republic International ( ORI ) $8.17 $14.60

Tangible book value is one metric to consider when deciding whether to buy a stock. Here is Bill Ackman commenting on Watsa's holding Citigroup ( C ), showing how he considers tangible book value in a broader context:

Citi remains extremely cheap relative to our estimate of intrinsic value - it trades at less than 60% of tangible book value, about six times last year's underlying earnings per share and about four times normalized earnings per share after giving credit to its net tax assets and excess capital.

The intrinsic value of Citi has increased meaningfully over the course of our ownership of the bank while the stock price has declined substantially. We believe that the continued generation of profits and increase in growth of tangible book value will ultimately cause investors to revalue the bank at prices approaching its intrinsic value.

See more valuations of Watsa's stocks here .

The new Valuation Tab is just one of the features we added to the Premium features we continue to add to Premium Membership. If you are not a Premium Member, why not take a 7-day Free Trial?About GuruFocus: tracks the stocks picks and portfolio holdings of the world's best investors. This value investing site offers stock screeners and valuation tools. And publishes daily articles tracking the latest moves of the world's best investors. GuruFocus also provides promising stock ideas in 3 monthly newsletters sent to Premium Members .