Estimating The Intrinsic Value Of Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB)
Schlumberger's estimated fair value is US$52.41 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity
Schlumberger's US$47.40 share price indicates it is trading at similar levels as its fair value estimate
The US$64.34 analyst price target for SLB is 23% more than our estimate of fair value
How far off is Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.
We would caution that there are many ways of valuing a company and, like the DCF, each technique has advantages and disadvantages in certain scenarios. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.
Check out our latest analysis for Schlumberger
We use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of growth rates for the company's cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a lower growth phase. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next ten years. Where possible we use analyst estimates, but when these aren't available we extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the last estimate or reported value. We assume companies with shrinking free cash flow will slow their rate of shrinkage, and that companies with growing free cash flow will see their growth rate slow, over this period. We do this to reflect that growth tends to slow more in the early years than it does in later years.
A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, so we need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:
10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast
Levered FCF ($, Millions)
Growth Rate Estimate Source
Est @ 7.71%
Est @ 6.02%
Est @ 4.84%
Est @ 4.01%
Est @ 3.43%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 11%
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$38b
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 2.1%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 11%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$9.0b× (1 + 2.1%) ÷ (11%– 2.1%) = US$103b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$103b÷ ( 1 + 11%)10= US$36b
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$75b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$47.4, the company appears about fair value at a 9.6% 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.
The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. Part of investing is coming up with your own evaluation of a company's future performance, so try the calculation yourself and check your own 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 Schlumberger 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 11%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.502. 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 Schlumberger
Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.
Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.
Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Energy Services market.
Annual revenue is forecast to grow faster than the American market.
Current share price is below our estimate of fair value.
Dividends are not covered by cash flow.
Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the American market.
Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize 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. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. For Schlumberger, we've put together three fundamental items you should further examine:
Risks: You should be aware of the 3 warning signs for Schlumberger we've uncovered before considering an investment in the company.
Future Earnings: How does SLB'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: 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.
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