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Safa: The Internet Is Undervalued

By - June 08, 2004

rashtchyYup. From his weekly newsletter:

Our detailed analysis of historical valuations of over 50 Internet companies as well as several other sectors including media, software, and retail has produced a very interesting outcome. First, to lay out our methodology, we were seeking to answer two questions: how does the growth-adjusted valuation look like for Internet compared with these three sectors that are the closest in their characteristics, and second, how do current valuation levels of Internet stocks compare with historical levels. From our own experience, we know that the valuations at their peak in 1997-2000 were significantly higher than the current level, in fact orders of magnitudes higher in some cases. But to get standardized data, we used PE and PEG ratios that are available for all the companies and go back sufficiently to give us some results. We used pro-forma EPS estimates as those are most widely reported to First Call. Finally, to get a sufficient number of companies with earnings so that our averages are meaningful, we had to go back only to 2002 and not earlier.

Internet Sector Cheaper Than Others. The results show that the Internet sector is currently trading at a discount on a growth-adjusted basis compared to the software, retail, and media sectors, as shown in the table below. The Internet companies are trading at a median PEG ratio of 0.6x 2005 estimates, while the other sectors trade at PEGs of 1.0 for retail, 1.4 for media, and 1.5 for software. The results are similar even if we use 2004 PEGs. The average earnings growth of the Internet sector is 40% compared with the average of 22% for the other three sectors.

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2 thoughts on “Safa: The Internet Is Undervalued

  1. Couldn’t agree more, except to add that this also applies to the online businesses of otherwise offline companies.

  2. Beware the lurking bubble-analysis.

    From 1 cent a share to 2 cents a share is 100 PERCENT EARNINGS GROWTH!

    It would be very easy to made some barely-profitable, shaky, companies sound much better than they are.