Stock Analysis

Is Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:SIX) Trading At A 38% Discount?

NYSE:SIX
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How far off is Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:SIX) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. 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. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

See our latest analysis for Six Flags Entertainment

The Model

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.

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

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$224.6m US$284.9m US$329.9m US$368.5m US$401.0m US$428.2m US$451.2m US$470.9m US$488.3m US$503.9m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x3 Analyst x2 Est @ 15.82% Est @ 11.70% Est @ 8.81% Est @ 6.79% Est @ 5.37% Est @ 4.38% Est @ 3.69% Est @ 3.20%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 11% US$201 US$229 US$238 US$239 US$233 US$223 US$211 US$197 US$184 US$170

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$2.1b

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 11%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$504m× (1 + 2.1%) ÷ (11%– 2.1%) = US$5.5b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$5.5b÷ ( 1 + 11%)10= US$1.8b

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$4.0b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$29.4, the company appears quite good value at a 38% 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:SIX Discounted Cash Flow February 16th 2023

The Assumptions

Now 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 Six Flags Entertainment 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 11%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.586. 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 Six Flags Entertainment

Strength
  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.
Weakness
  • Interest payments on debt are not well covered.
Opportunity
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow faster than the American market.
  • Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.
  • Significant insider buying over the past 3 months.
Threat
  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow.
  • Total liabilities exceed total assets, which raises the risk of financial distress.
  • Annual revenue is forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Looking Ahead:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation 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. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For Six Flags Entertainment, we've put together three relevant factors you should consider:

  1. Risks: Take risks, for example - Six Flags Entertainment has 3 warning signs (and 2 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.
  2. Future Earnings: How does SIX'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 NYSE 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 Six Flags Entertainment 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.