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A Look At The Intrinsic Value Of CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS)

In this article I am going to calculate the intrinsic value of CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) by taking the foreast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today’s value. I will use 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. Please also note that this article was written in June 2018 so be sure check out the updated calculation by following the link below. See our latest analysis for CBS

Step by step through the calculation

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. Where possible I use analyst estimates, but when these aren’t available I have extrapolated the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the year before. For this growth rate I used the average annual growth rate over the past five years, but capped at a reasonable level. The sum of these cash flows is then discounted to today’s value.

5-year cash flow estimate






Levered FCF ($, Millions)







Analyst x9

Analyst x11

Analyst x5

Analyst x2

Extrapolated @ (-1.12%)

Present Value Discounted @ 10.89%






Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US$7.21b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after the five years. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of the GDP. In this case I have used the 10-year government bond rate (2.9%). In the same way as with the 5-year ‘growth’ period, we discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 10.9%.

Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2022 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$2.22b × (1 + 2.9%) ÷ (10.9% – 2.9%) = US$28.81b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$28.81b ÷ ( 1 + 10.9%)5 = US$17.18b

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$24.39b. In the final step we 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) or ADR then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of $64.37. Compared to the current share price of $56.46, the stock is about right, perhaps slightly undervalued at a 12.28% discount to what it is available for right now.

NYSE:CBS Intrinsic Value June 24th 18
NYSE:CBS Intrinsic Value June 24th 18

Important assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the 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 CBS 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 10.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.126. 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:

Whilst important, DCF calculation shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company.

For CBS, there are three key aspects you should further research:

  1. Financial Health: Does CBS 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 CBS’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 CBS? 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 pass 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.