L3Harris Technologies, Inc.'s (NYSE:LHX) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 55% Above Its Share Price

By
Simply Wall St
Published
July 04, 2021
NYSE:LHX
Source: Shutterstock

How far off is L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:LHX) 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 their present value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. 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.

See our latest analysis for L3Harris Technologies

The calculation

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, so we discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$3.05b US$3.24b US$3.51b US$3.62b US$3.72b US$3.81b US$3.90b US$3.98b US$4.07b US$4.15b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x10 Analyst x8 Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Est @ 2.66% Est @ 2.46% Est @ 2.32% Est @ 2.22% Est @ 2.15% Est @ 2.1%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.9% US$2.8k US$2.8k US$2.9k US$2.8k US$2.7k US$2.5k US$2.4k US$2.3k US$2.2k US$2.1k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$26b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at a future annual growth rate equal to the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield of 2.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.9%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$4.2b× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (6.9%– 2.0%) = US$86b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$86b÷ ( 1 + 6.9%)10= US$44b

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$70b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$219, the company appears quite good value at a 35% 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
NYSE:LHX Discounted Cash Flow July 4th 2021

Important assumptions

We would point out that 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 L3Harris Technologies 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 6.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.044. 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.

Moving On:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For L3Harris Technologies, we've compiled three relevant factors you should look at:

  1. Risks: You should be aware of the 2 warning signs for L3Harris Technologies we've uncovered before considering an investment in the company.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for LHX'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.

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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. 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.
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