A Look At The Intrinsic Value Of Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY)

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Does the February share price for Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY) reflect it’s really worth? Today, I will calculate the stock’s intrinsic value by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today’s value. I will be using the discounted cash flows (DCF) model. Don’t get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward. If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the basis for my calcs can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model. Please also note that this article was written in February 2019 so be sure check out the updated calculation by following the link below.

Check out our latest analysis for Sysco

The model

I use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of varying growth rates for the company’s cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a more stable growth phase. To begin with we have to get estimates of the next five years of cash flows. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. I then discount this to its value today and sum up the total to get the present value of these cash flows.

5-year cash flow estimate

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Levered FCF ($, Millions) $1.89k $2.09k $2.09k $2.21k $2.34k
Source Analyst x6 Analyst x5 Analyst x2 Est @ 5.82% Est @ 5.82%
Present Value Discounted @ 8.55% $1.74k $1.77k $1.64k $1.60k $1.55k

Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US$8.3b

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business’s cash flow after the first stage. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at an annual growth rate equal to the 10-year government bond rate of 2.7%. We discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 8.5%.

Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2023 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$2.3b × (1 + 2.7%) ÷ (8.5% – 2.7%) = US$41b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$41b ÷ ( 1 + 8.5%)5 = US$27b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the cash flows, which in this case is US$36b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. If the stock is an depositary receipt (represents a specified number of shares in a foreign corporation) or ADR then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of $68.81. Relative to the current share price of $63.85, the stock is about right, perhaps slightly undervalued at a 7.2% discount to what it is available for right now.

NYSE:SYY Intrinsic Value Export February 3rd 19
NYSE:SYY Intrinsic Value Export February 3rd 19

Important assumptions

I’d like to 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 my result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. Because we are looking at Sysco as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighed average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation I’ve used 8.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.800. This is derived from the Bottom-Up Beta method based on comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, DCF calculation shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. For SYY, I’ve compiled three pertinent factors you should look at:

  1. Financial Health: Does SYY have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
  2. Future Earnings: How does SYY’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: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of SYY? 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 does a DCF calculation for every US stock every 6 hours, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.