Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS) Shares Could Be 23% Below Their Intrinsic Value Estimate

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 19, 2022
NasdaqGS:CTAS
Source: Shutterstock

Does the May share price for Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS) 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. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for Cintas

The model

We're using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company's growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have a stable growth rate. 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 discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$1.20b US$1.42b US$1.65b US$1.80b US$1.93b US$2.04b US$2.13b US$2.21b US$2.28b US$2.35b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x6 Analyst x7 Analyst x1 Est @ 9.52% Est @ 7.24% Est @ 5.64% Est @ 4.53% Est @ 3.74% Est @ 3.2% Est @ 2.81%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 5.9% US$1.1k US$1.3k US$1.4k US$1.4k US$1.5k US$1.4k US$1.4k US$1.4k US$1.4k US$1.3k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$14b

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after 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 (1.9%) 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 5.9%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$2.3b× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (5.9%– 1.9%) = US$60b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$60b÷ ( 1 + 5.9%)10= US$34b

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$48b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$358, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 23% discount to where the stock price trades currently. The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it is better to view this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last cent.

dcf
NasdaqGS:CTAS Discounted Cash Flow May 19th 2022

The 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. You don't have to agree with these inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. 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 Cintas 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 5.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.939. 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.

Looking Ahead:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess 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. 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 sitting below the intrinsic value? For Cintas, there are three relevant items you should further examine:

  1. Risks: Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Cintas you should know about.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for CTAS'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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the NASDAQGS every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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