1. Misleading earnings: DFS reported a $295mm increase in GAAP earnings while our model shows economic earnings declined by $998mm (a difference of $1,293mm or over 100% of reported net income). The majority of the overstated reported earnings comes from a one-time gain from an anti-trust settlement of $1,892mm.
2. Very dangerous valuation: stock price of $19 implies DFS must grow its NOPAT at over 10% compounded annually for 40 years. A 40-year growth appreciation period with a 10%+ compounding growth rate sets expectations for future cash flow performance quite high. Historical growth rates have never been much lower.
3. Free Cash Flow was -$2,470mm or -26% of the company’s enterprise value last year.
4. Asset write-offs of $428mm or 5% of net assets – this means that management has written off at least $0.05 of assets for every $1 on the current balance sheet. Writing off assets is the opposite of creating shareholder value as it reflects management’s inability to derive any profits for the investments it makes with shareholder funds.
5. Off-balance sheet debt of $38mm or 0.5% of net assets.
6. Outstanding stock option liability of $8mm or less than 1% of current market value.
1. About $15 million in non-operating expenses (after-tax) cause reported earnings to be understated.
2. Our discounted cash flow analysis shows that ADI’s current valuation (stock price of $37.18) implies that the company’s profits will decline by 10% and never grow again.
3. The company grew its economic earnings by $283mm during its last fiscal year.
4. Excess cash of $2,462.5mm or nearly 25% of its market cap
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