Does the June share price for Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) 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 their present value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.
We would caution that there are many ways of valuing a company and, like the DCF, each technique has advantages and disadvantages in certain scenarios. 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.
Step by step through 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. 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.
A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, 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
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||US$392.0m||US$309.0m||US$459.0m||US$412.8m||US$386.2m||US$371.1m||US$363.2m||US$359.9m||US$359.8m||US$361.8m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Est @ -10.06%||Est @ -6.44%||Est @ -3.91%||Est @ -2.14%||Est @ -0.9%||Est @ -0.03%||Est @ 0.57%|
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.8%||US$367||US$271||US$377||US$318||US$279||US$251||US$230||US$213||US$200||US$188|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$2.7b
We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 (2.0%) 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 6.8%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$362m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (6.8%– 2.0%) = US$7.7b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$7.7b÷ ( 1 + 6.8%)10= US$4.0b
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$6.7b. 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$52.6, the company appears potentially overvalued at the time of writing. 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.
The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the 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 Service Corporation International 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 6.8%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.009. 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.
Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize 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. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. Can we work out why the company is trading at a premium to intrinsic value? For Service Corporation International, there are three additional aspects you should further examine:
- Risks: To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Service Corporation International (including 1 which is a bit concerning) .
- Future Earnings: How does SCI'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.
- 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 NYSE every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks 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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