LKQ Corporation's (NASDAQ:LKQ) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 82% Above Its Share Price

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 18, 2022
NasdaqGS:LKQ
Source: Shutterstock

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of LKQ Corporation (NASDAQ:LKQ) by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

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 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.

View our latest analysis for LKQ

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. 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, 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) estimate

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$1.07b US$1.22b US$1.27b US$1.43b US$1.45b US$1.46b US$1.48b US$1.51b US$1.53b US$1.56b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x3 Analyst x3 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 1.2% Est @ 1.42% Est @ 1.57% Est @ 1.67% Est @ 1.75%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.1% US$996 US$1.1k US$1.0k US$1.1k US$1.0k US$971 US$920 US$873 US$829 US$788

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$9.6b

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the initial 10-year period, we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all future cash flows beyond 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 1.9%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 7.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.6b× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (7.1%– 1.9%) = US$31b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$31b÷ ( 1 + 7.1%)10= US$16b

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$25b. 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$47.6, the company appears quite undervalued at a 45% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

dcf
NasdaqGS:LKQ Discounted Cash Flow February 18th 2022

The 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 LKQ 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 7.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.213. 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:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching 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?" If a company grows at a different rate, or if its cost of equity or risk free rate changes sharply, the output can look very different. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For LKQ, we've compiled three fundamental aspects you should consider:

  1. Risks: As an example, we've found 2 warning signs for LKQ that you need to consider before investing here.
  2. Future Earnings: How does LKQ'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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the NASDAQGS every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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