Is Stolt-Nielsen Limited (OB:SNI) Trading At A 42% Discount?

Does the January share price for Stolt-Nielsen Limited (OB:SNI) reflect what it’s really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock’s intrinsic value by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. I will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don’t get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

We generally believe that a company’s value is the present value of all of the cash it will generate in the future. However, a DCF is just one valuation metric among many, and it is not without flaws. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for Stolt-Nielsen

What’s the estimated valuation?

We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second ‘steady growth’ period. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next ten years. Where possible we use analyst estimates, but when these aren’t available we extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the last estimate or reported value. We assume companies with shrinking free cash flow will slow their rate of shrinkage, and that companies with growing free cash flow will see their growth rate slow, over this period. We do this to reflect that growth tends to slow more in the early years than it does in later years.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today’s value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$157.0m US$249.7m US$176.0m US$182.0m US$182.4m US$183.1m US$183.9m US$184.9m US$185.9m US$187.0m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x4 Analyst x3 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 0.24% Est @ 0.37% Est @ 0.45% Est @ 0.51% Est @ 0.55% Est @ 0.58%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 13% US$139 US$196 US$123 US$113 US$100.0 US$89.0 US$79.3 US$70.6 US$63.0 US$56.2

(“Est” = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$1.0b

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business’s cash flow after the first stage. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at a future annual growth rate equal to the 10-year government bond rate of 0.6%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today’s value at a cost of equity of 13%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$187m× (1 + 0.6%) ÷ 13%– 0.6%) = US$1.6b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$1.6b÷ ( 1 + 13%)10= US$466m

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next ten years plus the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US$1.5b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of kr127, the company appears quite undervalued at a 42% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula – garbage in, garbage out.

OB:SNI Intrinsic value, January 9th 2020
OB:SNI Intrinsic value, January 9th 2020

The assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. Part of investing is coming up with your own evaluation of a company’s future performance, so try the calculation yourself and check your own assumptions. The DCF also does not consider the possible cyclicality of an industry, or a company’s future capital requirements, so it does not give a full picture of a company’s potential performance. Given that we are looking at Stolt-Nielsen as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighted average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation we’ve used 13%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.998. Beta is a measure of a stock’s volatility, compared to the market as a whole. We get our beta from the industry average beta of globally comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, DCF calculation shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Rather it should be seen as a guide to “what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?” If a company grows at a different rate, or if its cost of equity or risk free rate changes sharply, the output can look very different. What is the reason for the share price to differ from the intrinsic value? For Stolt-Nielsen, I’ve compiled three pertinent aspects you should look at:

  1. Financial Health: Does SNI have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
  2. Future Earnings: How does SNI’s growth rate compare to its peers and the wider market? Dig deeper into the analyst consensus number for the upcoming years by interacting with our free analyst growth expectation chart.
  3. Other High Quality Alternatives: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of SNI? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!

PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every NO stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

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