Earlier today I was feelingĀ kinda lonely. š„Ā So I decided to buy some shares.

Ah yes. It sure feels goodĀ to have a bit of company. šĀ And that company is calledĀ Costco.

In this series of blog posts I’ll explain how I determine which stocks to add to my portfolio based on strategic valuation methods. š

## How to Value a Stock: The Graham FormulaĀ

Today, we’ll look at one of the most common formulas to determine the intrinsic value of a company; it’s call the Benjamin Graham Formula, named after the famous value investor who taught Warren Buffett. š

The Graham formula looks like the following:

This should give us an idea of how much we should pay to buy a stock. Let’s go over the variables.

V = Intrinsic value, or what the stock should be worth today.

EPS = Trailing twelve months earningsĀ per share.

8.5 = P/E base for a no-growth company.

g = Expected long term earnings growth rate.

## Is Costco Stock Undervalued or Overvalued?

This formula works best with blue-chip, large cap, value stocks. We will use Costco Wholesale Corporation as an example since I just purchased someĀ recently. š

So to find out the intrinsic value of CostcoĀ (NASDAQ:COST) we need to look up the earnings per share (EPS). This information can be found on Google Finance. Ā We see that it’s **$5.41**.

Next in the formula, weĀ need the “g” value. We can find this information on the Nasdaq.com website, and see that it’s **10.71%.**

Finally we can now plug everything into the formula to see the result.

So as of today, March 23rd, Costco should be worth around $162 per share according to the Benjamin Graham formula.

But of course the stock is actually trading at $167. This means Costco is currently overvalued because its shares areĀ trading at a premium compared to the fair value we just calculated.

Nevertheless, I still went ahead and purchased 10 shares of Costco this morning. The 3% premium I paid over the intrinsic value isn’t a big deal for me. Plus Costco recently announced an increase of membership fees to $60 per year. Like most other Costco shoppers I have decided to keep renewing my membership with them. But at least now I own 10 Costco shares, which entitles me (as a shareholder) to receive US $54 of after tax profits every year. This amount converted into Canadian dollars is more than enough to cover the expense of my annual Costco membership, haha. š