How far off is Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE:CLF) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, I am going to take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by estimating the company’s future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. This is done using the Discounted Cash Flows (DCF) model. Don’t get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model. If you are reading this and its not December 2018 then I highly recommend you check out the latest calculation for Cleveland-Cliffs by following the link below.
Crunching the numbers
We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second ‘steady growth’ period. To begin with we have to get estimates of the next five years of cash flows. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. I then discount the sum of these cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate.
5-year cash flow estimate
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||$286.15||$323.70||$265.43||$220.31||$185.06|
|Source||Analyst x4||Analyst x3||Est @ -18%, capped from -19.34%||Est @ -17%, capped from -19.34%||Est @ -16%, capped from -19.34%|
|Present Value Discounted @ 14.04%||$250.91||$248.89||$178.96||$130.24||$95.93|
Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US$905m
We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after the five years. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at an annual growth rate equal to the 10-year government bond rate of 2.9%. We discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 14%.
Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2022 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$185m × (1 + 2.9%) ÷ (14% – 2.9%) = US$1.7b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$1.7b ÷ ( 1 + 14%)5 = US$890m
The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the cash flows, which in this case is US$1.8b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. If the stock is an depositary receipt (represents a specified number of shares in a foreign corporation) then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of $6.02. Compared to the current share price of $7.97, the stock is rather overvalued and not available at a discount at this time.
I’d like to 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 my result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. Because we are looking at Cleveland-Cliffs as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighed average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation I’ve used 14%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.574. This is derived from the Bottom-Up Beta method based on comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.
Whilst important, DCF calculation shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. What is the reason for the share price to differ from the intrinsic value? For CLF, there are three fundamental factors you should look at:
- Financial Health: Does CLF have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
- Future Earnings: How does CLF’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.
- Other High Quality Alternatives: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of CLF? 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 for every stock on the NYSE every 6 hours. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.
To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.