Acquired by Schlumberger in 2010, Smith International provided products and services used during the drilling, completion and production phases of oil and gas exploration and development.
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 April 30, 1998, the Company acquired Wilson Industries, Inc. by issuing 7.9 million shares of common stock in exchange for all of the outstanding Wilson shares. The transaction will be accounted for as a pooling of interests and, accordingly, all prior period financial statements will be restated to include the results of Wilson as if the transaction had occurred at the earliest date presented. In connection with the acquisition, the Company expects to incur approximately $35 million of costs related to effecting the transaction and integrating the Wilson operations.
On August 25, 2008, Smith completed the acquisition of all of the outstanding equity interests in W-H Energy Services, Inc. ("W-H"), a Texas corporation. W-H is a leading provider of technologically-advanced drilling-related product offerings, including directional drilling, measurement-while-drilling and logging-while-drilling services. W-H also provides a broad range of products and services used by exploration and production companies to complete and produce wells, including coiled tubing services, cased-hole wireline and other related offerings. W-H's business operations are primarily concentrated in the United States. In connection with the transaction, the Company issued 17.78 million common shares and paid $1.62 billion of cash to the former shareholders of W-H. The fair value of shares issued was determined using an average price of $78.94, which represents the Company's average closing stock price for the five-day period beginning two days before the announcement of the transaction.
In November 2009, the Company completed a public offering of 28 million shares of common stock at $26.50 per share. Net cash proceeds to the Company after deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and other related expenses were $717.4 million.
Schlumberger acquires Smith International. Pursuant to the terms of the transaction, each Smith stockholder will receive 0.6966 shares of Schlumberger common stock in exchange for each Smith share, with cash paid in lieu of any fractional shares of Schlumberger common stock. Schlumberger has issued approximately 176 million shares pursuant to the acquisition, representing a transaction value of approximately $11,000 million. As a result, former Smith stockholders will own approximately 12.9% of Schlumberger's outstanding shares of common stock.