A Look At The Fair Value Of United States Lime & Minerals, Inc. (NASDAQ:USLM)

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 16, 2020

Does the November share price for United States Lime & Minerals, Inc. (NASDAQ:USLM) 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. This will be done using 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. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

Check out our latest analysis for United States Lime & Minerals

The model

We use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of growth rates for the company's cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a lower growth phase. To begin with, we have to get estimates of the next ten years of cash flows. Seeing as no analyst estimates of free cash flow are available to us, we have extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the company's last 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

2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$21.9m US$25.6m US$28.8m US$31.5m US$33.8m US$35.7m US$37.4m US$38.9m US$40.2m US$41.4m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Est @ 23.05% Est @ 16.8% Est @ 12.43% Est @ 9.37% Est @ 7.22% Est @ 5.72% Est @ 4.67% Est @ 3.94% Est @ 3.42% Est @ 3.06%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.0% US$20.5 US$22.4 US$23.5 US$24.0 US$24.0 US$23.7 US$23.2 US$22.5 US$21.8 US$21.0

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$226m

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after the first stage. 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 2.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 7.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$41m× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (7.0%– 2.2%) = US$877m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$877m÷ ( 1 + 7.0%)10= US$444m

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$670m. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$101, the company appears about fair value at a 16% 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.

NasdaqGS:USLM Discounted Cash Flow November 16th 2020

Important assumptions

We would point out that 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 United States Lime & Minerals 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 7.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.803. 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.

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. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or overvalued. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. For United States Lime & Minerals, we've compiled three pertinent factors you should explore:

  1. Risks: For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for United States Lime & Minerals that you should be aware of before investing here.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for USLM's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
  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.

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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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