Stock Analysis

# Calculating The Fair Value Of Select Medical Holdings Corporation (NYSE:SEM)

•  Updated

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Select Medical Holdings Corporation (NYSE:SEM) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

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 Select Medical Holdings

## Step By Step Through The Calculation

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. 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\$354.0m US\$304.8m US\$276.9m US\$260.8m US\$251.7m US\$247.0m US\$245.2m US\$245.4m US\$247.0m US\$249.5m Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x1 Est @ -13.9% Est @ -9.15% Est @ -5.82% Est @ -3.49% Est @ -1.86% Est @ -0.72% Est @ 0.08% Est @ 0.64% Est @ 1.03% Present Value (\$, Millions) Discounted @ 7.7% US\$329 US\$263 US\$222 US\$194 US\$174 US\$159 US\$146 US\$136 US\$127 US\$119

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US\$1.9b

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 (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 7.7%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US\$250m× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (7.7%– 1.9%) = US\$4.4b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US\$4.4b÷ ( 1 + 7.7%)10= US\$2.1b

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\$4.0b. 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\$25.7, the company appears about fair value at a 19% 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.

## Important Assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual 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 Select Medical Holdings 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 7.7%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.351. 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.

Although the valuation of a company is important, it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. For Select Medical Holdings, we've put together three fundamental items you should explore:

1. Risks: For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Select Medical Holdings (1 is a bit concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
2. Future Earnings: How does SEM'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 Select Medical Holdings 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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#### Select Medical Holdings

Select Medical Holdings Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates critical illness recovery hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and occupational health centers in the United States.

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)
Valuation3
Future Growth4
Past Performance2
Financial Health1
Dividends3

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

Reasonable growth potential and fair value.