LivaNova PLC (LIVN) Return on Capital of 0.346252 Puts Quant Under The Lens

Taking a look into the returns for LivaNova PLC (LIVN), we see the stock has a current MF Rank of 2663. Developed by hedge fund manager Joel Greenblatt, the intention of the formula is to spot high quality companies that are trading at an attractive price. The formula uses ROIC and earnings yield ratios to find quality, undervalued stocks. In general, companies with the lowest combined rank may be the higher quality picks.

LivaNova PLC (LIVN) has a current ERP5 Rank of 2635. The ERP5 Rank may assist investors with spotting companies that are undervalued. This ranking uses four ratios. These ratios are Earnings Yield, ROIC, Price to Book, and 5 year average ROIC. When looking at the ERP5 ranking, it is generally considered the lower the value, the better.

When it comes to investing in the equity market, discipline can play a major role in achieving ones goals. A few bad moves can send the investor’s confidence spiraling. Acting purely on emotion can lead to impulsive decisions that may cause the losses to pile up. Creating a solid plan and following through with the plan can help investors stay on track and focus on the proper details. Markets are constantly going up and down and the investing ride can sometimes be a bumpy one. Being able to see the big picture and focus on the important data can help keep the investor tuned in to the right channel. Investors who expect to jump into the market and immediately start raking in the profits may find out fairly quickly that trading without a plan can be a recipe for defeat. 

Total Asset Growth

In their 2008 paper, professors Cooper, Gulen and Schill provided evidence that a firm’s assets growth rates are strong predictors of future abnormal returns.

“The findings suggest that corporate events associated with asset expansion (i.e., acquisitions, public equity offerings, public debt offerings, and bank loan initiations) tend to be followed by periods of abnormally low returns, whereas events associated with asset contraction (i.e., spin-offs, share repurchases, debt prepayments, and dividend initiations) tend to be followed by periods of abnormally high returns.” – Cooper, Gulen & Shill in Asset Growth and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns. In a study on US data during the period 1967-2007, they find that:

– A hedge portfolio rebalanced annually that is long (short) the stocks of companies with the lowest (highest) percentage growth in total assets over the previous 12 months generates an average annual return of 22%.
– This asset growth effect is stronger for small capitalization stocks, but is still substantial for large capitalization stocks.
– The effect is strongest in the month of January.
– Asset growth rate retains large explanatory power for future stock returns after accounting for firm size, book-to-market ratio and momentum. In fact the asset growth effect is at least as powerful in explaining returns as these other widely used factors.

We calculate asset growth as follows:

Total Asset Growth = (Total AssetsTotal Assets y-1) − 1. LivaNova PLC (LIVN) has a total asset growth number of 0.018296.

FCF on Debt
Another ratio S&P Analyst Richard Tortoriello recommends to use is ‘Free Cash Flow to debt’. (‘Quantitative Strategies for Achieving Alpha’) This ratio shows how long it would take a company to pay back its debt using its current level of free cash flow. In his study, Tortoriello found that investing in the top 20% companies with the highest FCF/debt ratio generated substantially higher returns compared to the market.

Formula:

FCF on Debt = (Cash Flow from Operations−Capital Expenditure) / Total Debt

The FCF on debt number for LivaNova PLC (LIVN) stands at 0.48755.

Net Debt to Market Cap

This ratio gives a sense of how much debt a company has relative to its market value. Companies with high debt levels compared to their peers can be volatile. We calculate it as follows:

Net Debt to Market Cap = (Total Debt−Cash and ST Investments) / Market Cap

LivaNova PLC (LIVN) has a net debt to market cap ratio of 0.48755.

EBITDA/EV

EBITDA/EV stands at 0.045525.
This multiple is similar to Earnings Yield, but here we use Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) as Nominator). By doing this, we can compare companies with a different capital structure and capital expenditures. This way it gives a much better idea of the value of a company compared to the popular P/E ratio. As O’Shaughnessy explaines:

” Stocks that have very high debt levels often have low PE ratios, but this does not necessarily mean that they are cheap in relation to other securities. Stocks that are highly leveraged tend to have far more volatile PE ratios than those that are not. A stock’s PE ratio is greatly affected by debt levels and tax rates, whereas EBITDA/EV is not. To compare valuations on a level playing field, you need to account for how a company is financing itself and then compare how relatively cheap or expensive it is after accounting for all balance sheet items.” – James P. O’Shaugnessy in What works on Wall Street

You can think of it as the taking all the revenue and subtracting the costs that solely go into running the business. The downside of EBITDA is that it can be abused by companies declaring as “one-off” costs things that should really be considered normal costs. We use the EBITDA of the last 12 months.

VC3

Value Composite Three (VC3) is another adaptation of O’Shaughnessy’s value composite but here he combines the factors used in VC1 with buyback yield. This factor is interesting for investors who’re looking for stocks with the best value characteristics, but are indifferent to whether these companies pay a dividend.

VC3 is the combination of the following factors:

Price-to-Book
Price-to-Earnings
Price-to-Sales
EBITDA/EV
Price-to-Cash flow
Buyback Yield

As with the VC1 and VC2, companies are put into groups from 1 to 100 for each ratio and the individual scores are summed up. This total score is then put into groups again from 1 to 100. 1 is cheap, 100 is expensive.

The scorecard also displays variants of the VC3 where the score is calculated for the selected company compared to peer companies in the same industry, industry group or sector.

Please note that we use Book-to-Market instead of P/B since it allows a more accurate sorting compared to P/B. Stocks with a high B/M show up at the top of the list, stocks with negative B/M are at the bottom of the list. For the same reason we use Earnings-to-Price instead of Price-to-Earnings and Cash flow-to-price instead instead of Price-to-cash flow.

Also important is that we always make sure that companies with the same score get added to the same percentile. For stock universes where the number of stocks is less than 100, we make sure that the stocks are still allocated to percentiles from 0 to 100 instead of 0 to the total number of stocks. This is particularly relevant for the industry, industry group or sector variants where if additional filters are used, the number of stocks often drops below 100.

LivaNova PLC (LIVN) has a VC3 of 38.

Although the investing process is fairly straightforward, securing consistent returns in the stock market is not easy. Throwing hard earned money at un-researched investments can eventually lead the investor down the road to ruin. Every individual investor may have different goals when starting out. Aligning these goals with a specific plan can create a solid foundation for the future. Nobody can predict what the future will hold, but being aware of market conditions can be a great asset when attempting to navigate the terrain while mitigating risk. Once the vision of the individual investor is clear, the road to sustaining profits may be much easier to travel.

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