Estimating The Fair Value Of Murphy USA Inc. (NYSE:MUSA)

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 30, 2021
NYSE:MUSA
Source: Shutterstock

How far off is Murphy USA Inc. (NYSE:MUSA) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.

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.

See our latest analysis for Murphy USA

The method

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 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.

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) estimate

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$137.6m US$172.2m US$211.2m US$252.7m US$283.3m US$309.0m US$330.5m US$348.4m US$363.8m US$377.1m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 12.12% Est @ 9.07% Est @ 6.94% Est @ 5.44% Est @ 4.4% Est @ 3.67%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.6% US$127 US$146 US$165 US$182 US$188 US$189 US$186 US$180 US$173 US$166

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$1.7b

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 2.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 8.6%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$377m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (8.6%– 2.0%) = US$5.8b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$5.8b÷ ( 1 + 8.6%)10= US$2.6b

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$4.3b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$173, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. 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:MUSA Discounted Cash Flow December 1st 2021

Important assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. If you don't agree with these result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the 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 Murphy USA 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 8.6%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.511. 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 is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. 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. 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. For Murphy USA, we've put together three fundamental factors you should further examine:

  1. Risks: As an example, we've found 2 warning signs for Murphy USA (1 is a bit concerning!) that you need to consider before investing here.
  2. Future Earnings: How does MUSA'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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