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This evening, while reviewing the list of top % gainers on the NYSE, I saw that Davita (DVA), a stock that I have evaluated previously, and have actually owned as well, made the list. DVA closed at $55.47, up $1.70, or 3.16% in an otherwise anemic market.
I say this is a "revisit" because I first posted Davita on Stock Picks Bob's Advice on December 6, 2004, when the stock was trading at $36.42. With today's close at $55.47, this represents a gain of $19.05 or 52.3% over the last two years with that stock.
I was actually not quite as lucky with my own actual purchase of Davita. I purchased shares in my trading account on 12/6/04, the same day I posted the pick, at a price of $36.29. I sold those shares 3/7/05 at $42.29, after reading about some questions about accounting. Clearly, I had gotten shaken out on what turned out to be less than significant news. Perhaps if I had thought less instead of more, and had responded to the stock price instead of my own assessment of the news, I would still be owning shares of this company.
Let's take another look at Davita, and I will try to show you why it still deserves a spot on this blog.
First of all, let's review what the company does.
According to the Yahoo "Profile" on Davita, the company
"...provides dialysis services in the United States for patients suffering from chronic kidney failure, which is also known as end stage renal disease (ESRD). The company operates kidney dialysis centers, and provides related medical services primarily in dialysis centers and in contracted hospitals."
And the latest quarterly report?
On November 1, 2006, Davita reported 3rd quarter 2006 results. Net operating revenue climbed sharply from $644.9 million to $1.24 billion from the same quarter in 2005 to the current quarter a year later. Net income was also up sharply from $55.2 million in 2005 to $94.9 million this year. On a fully diluted per share basis this worked out to $.90/share this year vs. $.53/share last year. Taking out a one time gain, this still was $.66/share, up from $.53/share last year. Analysts had been looking for $.64/share on $1.22 billion of revenue. Thus, the company beat expectations both on the earnings and revenue side. In addition, the company raised guidance for the lower end of its 2006 operating income forecast.
Looking longer-term at a "5-Yr Restated" Morningstar.com financials report, we can see the steady increase in revenue from $1.57 billion in 2001 to $2.97 billion in 2005 and $4.74 billion in the trailing twelve months (TTM).
Earnings have also steadily grown from $.95/share in 2001 to $1.99/share in 2005 and $2.58/share in the TTM. Free cash flow has been solidly positive with $193 million in 2003, $324 million in 2005 and $268 million in the TTM. The number of shares outstanding has been relatively constant with 95 million shares in 2003, increasing to 101 million in 2005 and 104 million in the TTM.
The balance sheet appears adequate with $260.3 million in cash and $1.35 billion in other current assets. When divided by the current liabilities of $1.01 billion, this gives us a current ratio of 1.60. The company is also reported to have a significant long-term liability level of $4.19 billion. However, with the growing free cash flow, this doesn't appear to be a significant problem for DVA.
How about some valuation numbers for Davita?
Looking at Yahoo "Key Statistics", we can see that this is a small large-cap stock with a market capitalization of $5.77 billion. The trailing p/e is a relatively reasonable 20.91, with a forward (fye 31-Dec-07) p/e of 17.72. Thus, with the rapid growth in earnings expected (5 yr), the PEG works out to a nice 1.07.
Per the Fidelity.com eresearch website, the Price/Sales for Davita is 1.13, just above the average of 0.97 for its industry. Looking at profitability as measured by Return on Equity (ROE), DVA comes in at 27.14% for the TTM, compared with an industry average of 15.06%. Thus, the company appears reasonably valued as measured by PEG and Price/Sales, and is more profitable than an average company in its group.
Finishing up with Yahoo, we find that there are 104 million shares outstanding with 103.8 million that float. Currently, as of 11/10/06, there were 1.39 million shares out short, representing 1.30% of the float or only 2 trading days of volume. (I use a three day level of short interest as significant).
The company does not pay a dividend, and the last stock split was a 3:2 split on June 16, 2004.
What does the chart look like?
Reviewing the StockCharts.com "Point & Figure" chart on Davita, we can see that the stock, which was trading sideways through much of 2002 and early 2003 in the $13 to $17 range, broke out in June, 2003, and moved fairly steadily higher to the current $55 level.
You can see this price activity nicely on this chart including my "pick" price, as well as my own purchase of shares and ultimately getting 'shaken-out' and selling before the stock had broken down in price. This is my point about not 'thinking' too much about news and letting the stock price dictate the response.
So what do I think?
Well, the stock had a terrific quarter and moved nicely higher today in an otherwise lackluster trading day. The last quarter was great with the company increasing sales and earnings, beating guidance, and raising expectations. Longer-term the Morningstar.com report appears solid with a nice steady increase in revenue, earnings, and free cash flow. The balance sheet appears solid and valuation appears reasonable.
However, I am not quite in the market to be buying a new position. But this company does deserve a place at the table, so to speak, as it continues to manifest strong financial results which are driving the stock price higher.
Thanks again for dropping by. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them on the blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you get a chance, be sure and visit my Stock Picks Podcast Site, where I discuss many of the same stocks I blog about right here.