- Flex's estimated fair value is US$28.93 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity
- Flex's US$26.37 share price indicates it is trading at similar levels as its fair value estimate
- Analyst price target for FLEX is US$33.29, which is 15% above our fair value estimate
Does the November share price for Flex Ltd. (NASDAQ:FLEX) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!
We generally believe that a company's value is the present value of all of the cash it will generate in the future. However, a DCF is just one valuation metric among many, and it is not without flaws. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.
See our latest analysis for Flex
What's The Estimated Valuation?
We're using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company's growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have a stable growth rate. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next ten years. Where possible we use analyst estimates, but when these aren't available we extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the last estimate or reported value. We assume companies with shrinking free cash flow will slow their rate of shrinkage, and that companies with growing free cash flow will see their growth rate slow, over this period. We do this to reflect that growth tends to slow more in the early years than it does in later years.
A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:
10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)
|Growth Rate Estimate Source
|Est @ 6.47%
|Est @ 5.19%
|Est @ 4.30%
|Est @ 3.68%
|Est @ 3.24%
|Est @ 2.93%
|Est @ 2.72%
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.6%
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$5.4b
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 2.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 8.6%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.0b× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (8.6%– 2.2%) = US$16b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$16b÷ ( 1 + 8.6%)10= US$7.1b
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$13b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$26.4, the company appears about fair value at a 8.8% discount to where the stock price trades currently. 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.
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. 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 Flex 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 1.277. 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 Flex
- Debt is not viewed as a risk.
- Balance sheet summary for FLEX.
- Earnings declined over the past year.
- Annual earnings are forecast to grow faster than the American market.
- Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.
- Annual revenue is forecast to grow slower than the American market.
- What else are analysts forecasting for FLEX?
Whilst important, the DCF calculation 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. 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 instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. For Flex, we've put together three important elements you should consider:
- Risks: We feel that you should assess the 1 warning sign for Flex we've flagged before making an investment in the company.
- Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for FLEX's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
- 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. 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. 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.