Stock Analysis

Empresas Copec S.A. (SNSE:COPEC) Shares Could Be 29% Above Their Intrinsic Value Estimate

SNSE:COPEC
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Key Insights

  • The projected fair value for Empresas Copec is CL$5,002 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity
  • Empresas Copec's CL$6,459 share price signals that it might be 29% overvalued
  • The US$7,623 analyst price target for COPEC is 52% more than our estimate of fair value

Does the October share price for Empresas Copec S.A. (SNSE:COPEC) 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 today's value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. 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. If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the rationale behind this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for Empresas Copec

The Method

We use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of growth rates for the company's cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a lower growth phase. To start off with, we need to estimate the next ten years of cash flows. 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, so we need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$1.02b US$1.01b US$1.02b US$1.05b US$1.10b US$1.17b US$1.25b US$1.34b US$1.44b US$1.55b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Est @ 3.32% Est @ 4.85% Est @ 5.92% Est @ 6.67% Est @ 7.20% Est @ 7.56% Est @ 7.82%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 20% US$847 US$696 US$587 US$505 US$440 US$388 US$345 US$307 US$275 US$247

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$4.6b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of a country's GDP growth. In this case we have used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (8.4%) to estimate future growth. In the same way as with the 10-year 'growth' period, we discount future cash flows to today's value, using a cost of equity of 20%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.5b× (1 + 8.4%) ÷ (20%– 8.4%) = US$14b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$14b÷ ( 1 + 20%)10= US$2.3b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is US$6.9b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of CL$6.5k, the company appears slightly overvalued at the time of writing. Valuations are imprecise instruments though, rather like a telescope - move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Do keep this in mind.

dcf
SNSE:COPEC Discounted Cash Flow October 21st 2023

Important Assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual 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 Empresas Copec 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 20%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.869. 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.

SWOT Analysis for Empresas Copec

Strength
  • Debt is well covered by earnings.
Weakness
  • Earnings declined over the past year.
  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Oil and Gas market.
  • Current share price is above our estimate of fair value.
Opportunity
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow faster than the Chilean market.
Threat
  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow.
  • Paying a dividend but company has no free cash flows.
  • Annual revenue is forecast to grow slower than the Chilean market.

Moving On:

Whilst important, the 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. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. What is the reason for the share price exceeding the intrinsic value? For Empresas Copec, we've compiled three additional aspects you should consider:

  1. Risks: As an example, we've found 5 warning signs for Empresas Copec (1 shouldn't be ignored!) that you need to consider before investing here.
  2. Future Earnings: How does COPEC'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 Solid Businesses: Low debt, high returns on equity and good past performance are fundamental to a strong business. Why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals to see if there are other companies you may not have considered!

PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every Chilean stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Empresas Copec is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.