Stock Analysis

Is Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) Trading At A 33% Discount?

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NYSE:CL
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Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, Colgate-Palmolive fair value estimate is US$124
  • Current share price of US$83.47 suggests Colgate-Palmolive is potentially 33% undervalued
  • Our fair value estimate is 39% higher than Colgate-Palmolive's analyst price target of US$88.97

Does the February share price for Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) 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 today's value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. 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 Colgate-Palmolive

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 begin with, we have to get estimates of 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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$3.03b US$3.26b US$3.56b US$3.77b US$3.99b US$4.16b US$4.31b US$4.45b US$4.58b US$4.71b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x7 Analyst x7 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 4.25% Est @ 3.66% Est @ 3.25% Est @ 2.96% Est @ 2.76%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.0% US$2.9k US$2.9k US$3.0k US$3.0k US$3.0k US$2.9k US$2.9k US$2.8k US$2.7k US$2.6k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$29b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at a future annual growth rate equal to the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield of 2.3%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$4.7b× (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (6.0%– 2.3%) = US$131b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$131b÷ ( 1 + 6.0%)10= US$73b

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$102b. 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$83.5, the company appears quite good value at a 33% 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:CL Discounted Cash Flow February 14th 2024

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 Colgate-Palmolive 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 6.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.800. 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 Colgate-Palmolive

Strength
  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.
  • Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.
  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.
Weakness
  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Household Products market.
Opportunity
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow for the next 3 years.
  • Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.
Threat
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Moving On:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Colgate-Palmolive, there are three additional elements you should consider:

  1. Risks: For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Colgate-Palmolive that you should be aware of before investing here.
  2. Future Earnings: How does CL'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 Solid Businesses: Low debt, high returns on equity and good past performance are fundamental to a strong business. Why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals to see if there are other companies you may not have considered!

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 Colgate-Palmolive 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.