Stock Analysis

Does This Valuation Of O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORLY) Imply Investors Are Overpaying?

NasdaqGS:ORLY
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Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORLY) as an investment opportunity by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for O'Reilly Automotive

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 start off with, we need to estimate 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) forecast

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$2.00b US$2.27b US$2.27b US$2.45b US$2.57b US$2.66b US$2.74b US$2.81b US$2.88b US$2.95b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x4 Analyst x4 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 3.52% Est @ 3.06% Est @ 2.74% Est @ 2.51% Est @ 2.35%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.2% US$1.8k US$1.9k US$1.8k US$1.8k US$1.7k US$1.7k US$1.6k US$1.5k US$1.4k US$1.3k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$17b

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 2.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 8.2%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$2.9b× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (8.2%– 2.0%) = US$48b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$48b÷ ( 1 + 8.2%)10= US$22b

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$39b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$805, the company appears reasonably expensive at the time of writing. 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
NasdaqGS:ORLY Discounted Cash Flow January 19th 2023

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 O'Reilly Automotive 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 8.2%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.033. 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 O'Reilly Automotive

Strength
  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.
  • Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.
Weakness
  • Earnings growth over the past year is below its 5-year average.
  • Expensive based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.
Opportunity
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow for the next 4 years.
Threat
  • Total liabilities exceed total assets, which raises the risk of financial distress.
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a premium to intrinsic value? For O'Reilly Automotive, we've put together three essential elements you should explore:

  1. Risks: Be aware that O'Reilly Automotive is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is a bit concerning...
  2. Future Earnings: How does ORLY'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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether O'Reilly Automotive 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.