Why You Should Care About FedEx Corporation’s (NYSE:FDX) Cash Levels

If you are currently a shareholder in FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX), or considering investing in the stock, you need to examine how the business generates cash, and how it is reinvested. This difference directly flows down to how much the stock is worth. Operating in the industry, FedEx is currently valued at US$45b. I will take you through FedEx’s cash flow health and the risk-return concept based on the stock’s cash flow yield, using the most recent financial data. This will help you think about the company from a cash perspective, which is a crucial factor to investing.

View our latest analysis for FedEx

What is free cash flow?

Free cash flow (FCF) is the amount of cash FedEx has left after it pays off its expenses, including its net capital expenditures, which is what the company needs to spend each year to maintain or grow its business operations.

The two ways to assess whether FedEx’s FCF is sufficient, is to compare the FCF yield to the market index yield, as well as determine whether the top-line operating cash flows will continue to grow.

Free Cash Flow = Operating Cash Flows – Net Capital Expenditure

Free Cash Flow Yield = Free Cash Flow / Enterprise Value

where Enterprise Value = Market Capitalisation + Net Debt

Along with a positive operating cash flow, FedEx also generates a positive free cash flow. However, the yield of 1.83% is not sufficient to compensate for the level of risk investors are taking on. This is because FedEx’s yield is well-below the market yield, in addition to serving higher risk compared to the well-diversified market index.

NYSE:FDX Balance Sheet Net Worth, March 26th 2019
NYSE:FDX Balance Sheet Net Worth, March 26th 2019

What’s the cash flow outlook for FedEx?

Does FedEx’s future look brighter in terms of its ability to generate higher operating cash flows? This can be estimated by examining the trend of the company’s operating cash flow moving forward. In the next couple of years, FedEx’s operating cash flows is expected to grow by a double-digit 39%, which is encouraging, should capital expenditure levels maintain at an appropriate level. Below is a table of FedEx’s operating cash flow in the past year, as well as the anticipated level going forward.
Current +1 year +2 year +3 year
Operating Cash Flow (OCF) US$6.8b US$7.2b US$8.7b US$9.5b
OCF Growth Year-On-Year 4.7% 22% 8.8%
OCF Growth From Current Year 27% 39%

Next Steps:

Although its positive operating cash flow, and high future growth, is appealing, the low free cash flow yield is unattractive. This is because you would be better compensated in terms of cash yield, by investing in the market index, as well as take on lower diversification risk. However, cash is only one aspect of investing. Now you know to keep cash flows in mind, I recommend you continue to research FedEx to get a more holistic view of the company by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is FDX worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether FDX is currently mispriced by the market.
  2. Management Team: An experienced management team on the helm increases our confidence in the business – take a look at who sits on FedEx’s board and the CEO’s back ground.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: If you believe you should cushion your portfolio with something less risky, scroll through our free list of these great stocks here.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.