Stock Analysis

Is Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB) Trading At A 47% Discount?

  •  Updated
NYSE:SLB
Source: Shutterstock

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

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 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.

See our latest analysis for Schlumberger

The Model

We're using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company's growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have a stable growth rate. 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

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$3.99b US$4.81b US$4.95b US$5.61b US$6.05b US$6.42b US$6.73b US$6.99b US$7.23b US$7.44b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x12 Analyst x5 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Est @ 7.83% Est @ 6.06% Est @ 4.83% Est @ 3.96% Est @ 3.35% Est @ 2.93%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.4% US$3.7k US$4.1k US$3.9k US$4.1k US$4.0k US$4.0k US$3.8k US$3.7k US$3.5k US$3.3k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$38b

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 (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 8.4%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$7.4b× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (8.4%– 1.9%) = US$118b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$118b÷ ( 1 + 8.4%)10= US$53b

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$91b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$34.0, the company appears quite undervalued at a 47% discount to where the stock price trades currently. The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it is better to view this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last cent.

dcf
NYSE:SLB Discounted Cash Flow September 28th 2022

Important Assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the 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 Schlumberger 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 8.4%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.515. 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:

Although the valuation of a company is important, 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. 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 Schlumberger, we've compiled three relevant items you should consider:

  1. Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Schlumberger , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
  2. Future Earnings: How does SLB'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.

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

Find out whether Schlumberger 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.

View the Free Analysis

About NYSE:SLB

Schlumberger

Schlumberger Limited provides technology for the energy industry worldwide.

The Snowflake is a visual investment summary with the score of each axis being calculated by 6 checks in 5 areas.

Analysis AreaScore (0-6)
Valuation2
Future Growth4
Past Performance5
Financial Health4
Dividends2

Read more about these checks in the individual report sections or in our analysis model.

Solid track record with reasonable growth potential.