LyondellBasell Industries N.V.'s (NYSE:LYB) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 87% Above Its Share Price

By
Simply Wall St
Published
July 24, 2021
NYSE:LYB
Source: Shutterstock

How far off is LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (NYSE:LYB) 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. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. 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. 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 LyondellBasell Industries

Step by step through the calculation

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.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, so we need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$4.05b US$3.88b US$3.80b US$3.76b US$3.76b US$3.78b US$3.82b US$3.87b US$3.93b US$3.99b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x9 Analyst x5 Est @ -2.13% Est @ -0.89% Est @ -0.03% Est @ 0.58% Est @ 1% Est @ 1.3% Est @ 1.51% Est @ 1.65%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.7% US$3.8k US$3.3k US$3.0k US$2.8k US$2.6k US$2.4k US$2.3k US$2.1k US$2.0k US$1.9k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$26b

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 (2.0%) 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)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$4.0b× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (7.7%– 2.0%) = US$71b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$71b÷ ( 1 + 7.7%)10= US$34b

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$60b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$96.6, the company appears quite good value 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:LYB Discounted Cash Flow July 24th 2021

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 LyondellBasell Industries 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 1.207. 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.

Next Steps:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For LyondellBasell Industries, we've compiled three further elements you should explore:

  1. Risks: We feel that you should assess the 4 warning signs for LyondellBasell Industries (1 is potentially serious!) we've flagged before making an investment in the company.
  2. Future Earnings: How does LYB'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. 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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