Stock Analysis

The Middleby Corporation's (NASDAQ:MIDD) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 67% Above Its Share Price

  •  Updated
NasdaqGS:MIDD
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How far off is The Middleby Corporation (NASDAQ:MIDD) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Models like these may appear beyond the comprehension of a lay person, but they're fairly easy to follow.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. 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.

Our analysis indicates that MIDD is potentially undervalued!

The Model

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. 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.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$643.2m US$653.4m US$664.0m US$675.4m US$687.5m US$700.3m US$713.5m US$727.2m US$741.3m US$755.7m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x5 Analyst x3 Est @ 1.61% Est @ 1.72% Est @ 1.8% Est @ 1.85% Est @ 1.89% Est @ 1.92% Est @ 1.94% Est @ 1.95%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.4% US$599 US$567 US$536 US$508 US$481 US$456 US$433 US$411 US$390 US$370

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$4.8b

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the initial 10-year period, we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all future cash flows beyond the first stage. 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 (2.0%) 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 7.4%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$756m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (7.4%– 2.0%) = US$14b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$14b÷ ( 1 + 7.4%)10= US$7.0b

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$12b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$130, the company appears quite undervalued at a 40% discount to where the stock price trades currently. 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
NasdaqGS:MIDD Discounted Cash Flow October 20th 2022

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 Middleby 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 7.4%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.156. 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 Middleby

Strength
  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.
  • Debt is well covered by earnings.
Weakness
  • No major weaknesses identified for MIDD.
Opportunity
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow for the next 3 years.
  • Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.
Threat
  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow.
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Next Steps:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or overvalued. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Middleby, we've compiled three essential aspects you should explore:

  1. Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Middleby (at least 1 which is concerning) , and understanding these should be part of your investment process.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for MIDD's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
  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 American 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 Middleby 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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