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An Intrinsic Calculation For JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD) Suggests It's 38% Undervalued

Key Insights

  • The projected fair value for JD.com is US$55.15 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity

  • Current share price of US$34.10 suggests JD.com is potentially 38% undervalued

  • The CN¥56.55 analyst price target for JD is 2.5% more than our estimate of fair value

How far off is JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD) 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 forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. 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 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. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for JD.com

The Calculation

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. To begin with, we have to get estimates of the next ten years of cash flows. 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

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

2033

Levered FCF (CN¥, Millions)

CN¥38.8b

CN¥46.2b

CN¥49.6b

CN¥48.6b

CN¥48.3b

CN¥48.4b

CN¥48.8b

CN¥49.4b

CN¥50.2b

CN¥51.0b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x9

Analyst x9

Analyst x2

Analyst x1

Est @ -0.61%

Est @ 0.21%

Est @ 0.80%

Est @ 1.20%

Est @ 1.49%

Est @ 1.69%

Present Value (CN¥, Millions) Discounted @ 8.9%

CN¥35.6k

CN¥38.9k

CN¥38.4k

CN¥34.5k

CN¥31.5k

CN¥29.0k

CN¥26.8k

CN¥24.9k

CN¥23.2k

CN¥21.7k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CN¥305b

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after the first stage. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of a country's GDP growth. In this case we have used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (2.2%) to estimate future growth. In the same way as with the 10-year 'growth' period, we discount future cash flows to today's value, using a cost of equity of 8.9%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CN¥51b× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (8.9%– 2.2%) = CN¥768b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CN¥768b÷ ( 1 + 8.9%)10= CN¥326b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is CN¥631b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$34.1, the company appears quite good value at a 38% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

dcf
dcf

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 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 JD.com 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 8.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.118. 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 JD.com

Strength

  • Debt is not viewed as a risk.

  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.

Weakness

  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Multiline Retail market.

Opportunity

  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow faster than the American market.

  • Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.

Threat

  • Annual revenue is forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess 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 instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For JD.com, there are three essential items you should consider:

  1. Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with JD.com , and understanding it should be part of your investment process.

  2. Future Earnings: How does JD'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: 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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the NASDAQGS every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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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