Stock Analysis

A Look At The Fair Value Of Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFM)

NasdaqGS:SFM
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Key Insights

  • Sprouts Farmers Market's estimated fair value is US$31.66 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity
  • Current share price of US$33.43 suggests Sprouts Farmers Market is potentially trading close to its fair value
  • The US$33.08 analyst price target for SFM is 4.5% more than our estimate of fair value

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFM) as an investment opportunity by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

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 still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for Sprouts Farmers Market

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.

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) forecast

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$193.6m US$182.4m US$183.0m US$187.1m US$185.0m US$184.8m US$185.9m US$187.7m US$190.2m US$193.2m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x4 Analyst x4 Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Est @ -0.09% Est @ 0.56% Est @ 1.01% Est @ 1.33% Est @ 1.55%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.1% US$181 US$159 US$149 US$142 US$131 US$122 US$115 US$108 US$103 US$97.3

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$1.3b

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 (2.1%) 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 7.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$193m× (1 + 2.1%) ÷ (7.1%– 2.1%) = US$3.9b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$3.9b÷ ( 1 + 7.1%)10= US$2.0b

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$3.3b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$33.4, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

dcf
NasdaqGS:SFM Discounted Cash Flow April 19th 2023

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. 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 Sprouts Farmers Market 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 7.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.847. 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 Sprouts Farmers Market

Strength
  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.
  • Debt is not viewed as a risk.
Weakness
  • Earnings growth over the past year is below its 5-year average.
Opportunity
  • Annual revenue is forecast to grow faster than the American market.
  • Good value based on P/E ratio compared to estimated Fair P/E ratio.
Threat
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Moving On:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it 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. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. 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. For Sprouts Farmers Market, we've compiled three essential aspects you should look at:

  1. Risks: Case in point, we've spotted 1 warning sign for Sprouts Farmers Market you should be aware of.
  2. Future Earnings: How does SFM'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. 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.

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

Find out whether Sprouts Farmers Market 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.