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Is The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) Worth US$45.96 Based On Intrinsic Value?

Sadie Atkinson

How far off is The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) 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. I will be using the discounted cash flows (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple! If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the basis for my calcs can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model. If you are reading this and its not September 2018 then I highly recommend you check out the latest calculation for Coca-Cola by following the link below.

Check out our latest analysis for Coca-Cola

What’s the value?

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 this to its value today and sum up the total to get the present value of these cash flows.

5-year cash flow estimate

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Levered FCF ($, Millions) $8.46k $9.18k $9.54k $10.45k $9.75k
Source Analyst x9 Analyst x8 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ -6.7%
Present Value Discounted @ 8.65% $7.78k $7.78k $7.44k $7.50k $6.44k

Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US$36.93b

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the intial 5-year period we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows beyond the first stage. 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 8.7%.

Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2022 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$9.75b × (1 + 2.9%) ÷ (8.7% – 2.9%) = US$175.94b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$175.94b ÷ ( 1 + 8.7%)5 = US$116.18b

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next five years and the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US$153.11b. 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 $36. Compared to the current share price of $45.96, the stock is fair value, maybe slightly overvalued and not available at a discount at this time.

NYSE:KO Intrinsic Value Export September 20th 18

Important assumptions

Now 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 Coca-Cola 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 8.7%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.809. 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.

Next Steps:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it 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 KO, I’ve put together three essential aspects you should look at:

  1. Financial Health: Does KO 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.
  2. Future Earnings: How does KO’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: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of KO? 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 does a DCF calculation for every US stock every 6 hours, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com.