Old Dominion Freight Lines: It’s About the Price

It’s a business with a large amount of green spread all around its economic toughness and profitability tables. But the valuation ratio is in the dumps. What is a value trader to believe?

The business is Aged Dominion Freight Strains Inc. (NASDAQ:ODFL), a person of the greatest trucking organizations in the United States. A lot more particularly, it is a considerably less-than-truckload carrier, hauling for prospects that really don’t have masses big plenty of to fill a freight-truck trailer.

As these types of, it competes with organizations these types of as FedEx Freight (NYSE:FDX) and UPS Freight (NYSE:UPS). Aged Dominion has documented it is the 3rd-most significant carrier in the nation by revenue, but doesn’t specify which organizations it trails. My analysis implies the two greater competition are FedEx Freight and YRC Throughout the world (NASDAQ:YRCW). There are also countless numbers of more compact competition, especially in regional and regional markets.

As an LTL business, it has large fastened costs, not only for vehicles but also for the real estate and support facilities it wants.

To handle these types of fastened costs, a business wants a person or extra of these a few elements: robust earnings, robust cash stream or a weighty credit card debt load. The economic toughness table higher than implies Aged Dominion does not have a lot of a credit card debt load.

This chart shows how the remaining two elements, earnings per share and functioning cash stream per share, had grown in the ten decades prior to the close of 2019:

GuruFocus Old Dominion earnings per share operating cash flow per share chart

Now, distinction that with the ten-yr lengthy-phrase credit card debt and cash lease obligations chart (there are no cash lease obligations, so the chart refers to only lengthy-phrase credit card debt):

GuruFocus Old Dominion long term debt

What we are viewing is a business that has taken an ax to its credit card debt load, even though developing its earnings and functioning cash stream. Offered that the 2010s have been a 10 years of very low curiosity fees, Aged Dominion has resisted the entice of leverage and cleaned up its balance sheet.

That’s the form of management value buyers like to see, but will the business maintain up to additional scrutiny?

Because Aged Dominion is a Buffett-Munger Screener inventory, we can evaluate it using the 4 standards demanded to attain Buffett-Munger standing: predictability of revenue and earnings development, a aggressive gain, little or no credit card debt and a PEG/PEPG ratio showing the inventory is undervalued.


Aged Dominion gets a 4 out of 5-star score for predictability. This chart shows revenue per share and earnings per share for the ten decades ending Dec. 31, 2019:

GuruFocus Old Dominion revenue per share earnings per share chart

Can it carry on to mature in the intensively aggressive trucking sector? It ought to be capable to as it noted in its May trader presentation, it is investing substantial sums again into its business:

Old Dominion capital allocation

Aggressive gain

One particular evaluate of aggressive gain is observed in the margins a business with reliable and substantial margins can manage or even mature its price ranges. As this chart shows, Aged Dominion has grown its functioning and internet margins:

Old Dominion margins

For another point of view, we can look at a trucking sector metric, LTL revenue per shipment, from the trader presentation:

Old Dominion revenue per shipment


This slide shows its lengthy-phrase credit card debt (green bars) in relation to the company’s return on invested cash (ROIC):

Old Dominion debt ROIC

At the close of 2019, Aged Dominion had zero shorter-phrase credit card debt and just $forty five million in lengthy-phrase credit card debt.


So far, the fundamentals have been eye-catching, really eye-catching in some conditions. However, that adjustments when we flip to valuation:

  • The PEG ratio, which is the crucial for Buffett-Munger shares, is 1.98%, well higher than the undervalued and reasonably valued ranges. The ratio is calculated by dividing the value-earnings ratio (thirty.86) by its 5-yr Ebitda development rate (fifteen.sixty%).
  • The value-earnings ratio routinely swings up and down mainly because the trucking sector demonstrates the ups and downs of the American economic system. At present, Aged Dominion is at a large issue:

Old Dominion P/E ratio 10 year chart

  • Finally, the discounted cash stream calculator shows it to have a detrimental margin of safety of 8.four%.


Ten of the investing gurus adopted by GuruFocus have positions in this inventory. Largest among them is PRIMECAP Expense with just under 302,000 shares, following escalating its stake by 13.54% in the very first quarter.

Jerome Dodson (Trades, Portfolio) of the Parnassus Fund has the next-greatest accumulation, keeping 148,537 shares, even though Pioneer Investments (Trades, Portfolio) is 3rd with fifty five,307 shares following unloading sixteen.83% of its keeping in the very first quarter.


Offered its rather large predictability for development, its aggressive gain and its very low level of credit card debt, Aged Dominion Freight Strains would be an outstanding target for lots of buyers.

But the present-day value is wealthy and overvalued by all the metrics we reviewed. And potentially which is not shocking, offered the quantity of development we are getting. And this a well-managed business that has mapped out a future with extra development and would be difficult to dismiss.

As the chart of Aged Dominion’s value-earnings ratio implies, this is a cyclical business and is most likely to present a superior entry issue in the subsequent few decades.

Disclosure: I do not individual shares in any organizations named in this report and do not expect to purchase any in the subsequent seventy two hrs.

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About the creator:

Robert Abbott

Robert F. Abbott has been investing his family’s accounts considering that 1995 and in 2010 extra alternatives — predominantly protected phone calls and collars with lengthy shares.

He is a freelance author, and his tasks consist of a site that gives details for new and intermediate-level mutual fund buyers (whatisamutualfund.com).

As a author and publisher, Abbott also explores how the center class has appear to individual big business as a result of pension cash and mutual cash, what management guru Peter Drucker identified as the “unseen revolution.”

Pay a visit to Robert Abbott’s Web page