Are Investors Undervaluing Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE:LEVI) By 48%?

August 12, 2022
  •  Updated
November 21, 2022
NYSE:LEVI
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Does the August share price for Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE:LEVI) 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. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for Levi Strauss

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. To begin with, we have to get estimates of 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.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, 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) estimate

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$583.8m US$156.0m US$625.0m US$708.0m US$768.9m US$819.7m US$862.4m US$898.9m US$930.7m US$959.2m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x6 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 8.61% Est @ 6.61% Est @ 5.21% Est @ 4.23% Est @ 3.54% Est @ 3.06%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.0% US$546 US$136 US$510 US$541 US$549 US$547 US$538 US$524 US$507 US$489

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$4.9b

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 (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 7.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$959m× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (7.0%– 1.9%) = US$19b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$19b÷ ( 1 + 7.0%)10= US$9.9b

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$15b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$19.5, the company appears quite good value at a 48% 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:LEVI Discounted Cash Flow August 12th 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. If you don't agree with these result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the 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 Levi Strauss 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 7.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.189. 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 ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for 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?" For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Levi Strauss, there are three further aspects you should further research:

  1. Risks: We feel that you should assess the 1 warning sign for Levi Strauss we've flagged before making an investment in the company.
  2. Future Earnings: How does LEVI'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: Do you like a good all-rounder? 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 American stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

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