Prior to its 2013 merger with Office Depot, OfficeMax was engaged in business-to-business and retail office products distribution, providing office supplies and paper, print and document services, technology products and office furniture to large, medium and small businesses, government offices and consumers.
A company creates wealth for its long-term shareholders in 2 main ways - through dividend payments and through the accumulation of retained earnings. This graph shows the accumulation of per-share equity of long-term shareholders (green bars), which consists of the retained earnings plus all capital invested in the company, and the cumulative dividends the company has paid over time per share of its stock (blue bars).
In the words of Warren Buffett: "We're looking for... businesses earning good returns on equity while employing little or no debt."
Return on equity is a key metric of financial performance, indicating a company's ability to generate earnings using shareholder capital. Over time, ROE is one of the major determinants of the rate at which a company creates shareholder wealth. The average ROE for large U.S. companies is 12%, and many investors use it as a threshold for attractive investments.
Companies can boost ROE by increasing leverage, which reduces the safety of the investment. Therefore, it is useful to look at the return on assets (ROA), which measures a company's earning power regardless of its capital structure. A widening gap between ROE and ROA may be a warning sign that should be thoroughly investigated.
Earnings per share is a popular metric used to value a company (using P/E ratio); growth in EPS is often used to judge company growth potential. However, many investors believe that EPS is an inferior metric to ROE, because it ignores the amount of capital the company used to generate earnings.
Free cash flow shows how much cash a company generates from operations, above and beyond what is required to maintain or expand its productive assets. This cash can be returned to investors, or spent by management on growing the company or paying back its debts.
Balance sheets of many companies contain intangible assets such as goodwill, trademarks, patents, etc. Many investors consider intangibles more difficult to value than physical assets. If intangible assets had been valued incorrectly, they must be impaired, resulting in a loss charged against shareholder equity. This chart demonstrates the potential loss to shareholder equity from such impairments.
Companies often use debt financing to increase their return on equity. However, as the amount of debt financing increases relative to the amount of equity financing, the company becomes more sensitive to down turns and other negative events. As a result, many investors use the ratio of debt to equity as a measure of a company's financial risk, and avoid companies that have this ratio above 1.
This chart shows shareholder equity as a percentage of total assets, allowing investors to judge the overall leverage. Companies with a higher proportion of equity can be viewed as safer investments. This metric is particularly important for highly leveraged institutions, such as banks, where it must be at least 4% according to government regulations.
The ratio of current assets to current liabilities is known as the current ratio. This metric is a quick measure of the company's ability to pay its short-term obligations. A current ratio below 1 is a warning sign that should be investigated, especially for companies that cannot count on adequate cash flow from operations.
This chart shows the cumulative dilution of investor ownership in a company over time. Dilution reduces an investor's participation in the future earnings. Dilution increases when a company issues new shares, and decreases when a company buys its shares back. Many investors avoid companies with large chronic dilution.
analysis provides insight into factors affecting the Return On Equity of a company.
The DuPont equation decomposes ROE as follows:
ROE = (Net margin) * (Asset turnover) * (Asset to equity ratio)
Net margin indicates operating efficiency, Asset turnover measures the total asset use efficiency, and the Asset to equity ratio is a measure of financial leverage.
The dividend payout ratio tells investors what percentage of earnings a company returns to shareholders, and what percentage it retains and reinvests. This ratio represents a major capital allocation decision by the company, and can be used to judge management rationality. Rational management should pay out all earnings that cannot be productively reinvested. Therefore, a low dividend payout ratio for a profitable company with a low growth potential may be a warning sign.
Many investors use the P/B ratio as a quick way of judging company valuation. Value investors - followers of Graham and Dodd - specifically seek out companies with low P/B ratios. However, investors should be careful not to make investment decisions on this metric alone, without considering a company's earning and growth potential, since a low P/B ratio can be a sign of a bleak future for the business.
P/E ratio is a popular way of making a quick judgment of a company valuation. Value investors - followers of Graham and Dodd - often seek solid companies with low P/E ratios as investment opportunities. However, P/E ratio represents an oversimplified approach to business valuation, and can often lead to incorrect investment decisions.
On January 15, 1995, the depositary shares of Series E preferred stock converted to 8,625,000 shares of the Company's common stock.
On December 9, 2003, we completed our acquisition of OfficeMax, Inc. OfficeMax is now a subsidiary of Boise Cascade Corporation, and the results of OfficeMax operations after December 9, 2003, are included in our consolidated financial statements. We paid OfficeMax shareholders $1.3 billion for the acquisition, paying 60% of the purchase price in Boise common stock and 40% in cash. OfficeMax shareholders had the opportunity to elect to receive cash or stock for their OfficeMax shares. Each shareholder's election was subject to proration, depending on the elections of all OfficeMax shareholders. As a result of this proration, OfficeMax shareholders electing Boise stock received approximately .230419 share of Boise stock and $3.1746 in cash for each of their OfficeMax shares. Fractional shares were paid in cash. OfficeMax shareholders electing cash or who had no consideration preference, as well as those shareholders who made no effective election, received $9.333 in cash for each of their OfficeMax shares. After the proration, the $1.3 billion paid to OfficeMax shareholders consisted of $486.7 million in cash and the issuance of 27.3 million of Boise common shares valued at $808.2 million.
In May 2005, we repurchased 23.5 million shares of our common stock and the associated common stock purchase rights through a modified Dutch auction tender offer at a purchase price of approximately $775.5 million, or $33.00 per share, plus transaction costs.
In September 2008, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., a guarantor under a portion of our timber installment notes, filed for bankruptcy. As a result, in the third quarter we recorded an impairment charge of $735.8 million on the timber installment note guaranteed by Lehman, which reduced net income by $449.5 million.
We recorded pre-tax impairment charges of $1,364.4 million related to goodwill, trade names and other long-lived assets. These non-cash charges consisted of $1,201.5 million of goodwill impairment in both the Contract ($815.5 million) and Retail ($386.0 million) segments; $107.1 million of impairment of trade names in our Retail segment and $55.8 million of impairment related to store fixed assets in our Retail segment. These non-cash charges resulted in a reduction in net income of $1,294.7 million, or $17.05 per diluted share.
Our pension obligations exceeded the assets held in trust to fund them by $210.2 million at year-end 2009, a decrease of $224.8 million compared to the $435.0 million under funding that existed at year-end 2008. This reduction was due to strong returns on plan investments in the year coupled with our voluntary excess contribution of 8.3 million shares of OfficeMax common stock to the plans in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Office Depot (ODP) and OfficeMax (OMX) and have completed their merger. The merger is expected to create an office supplies powerhouse with combined annual sales of around $17 billion. The outstanding shares of OfficeMax and Office Depot were combined in an all-stock transaction. OfficeMax stockholders received 2.69 shares of Office Depot for each share of OfficeMax stock they owned.