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Churchill Downs Incorporated's (NASDAQ:CHDN) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 73% Above Its Share Price

Key Insights

  • The projected fair value for Churchill Downs is US$213 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity

  • Churchill Downs' US$123 share price signals that it might be 42% undervalued

  • Our fair value estimate is 48% higher than Churchill Downs' analyst price target of US$144

Does the February share price for Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ:CHDN) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

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. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

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Check out our latest analysis for Churchill Downs

The Model

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. 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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, 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) estimate

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

2033

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$528.9m

US$700.3m

US$830.9m

US$945.2m

US$1.04b

US$1.13b

US$1.20b

US$1.26b

US$1.31b

US$1.36b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x3

Analyst x4

Est @ 18.66%

Est @ 13.75%

Est @ 10.31%

Est @ 7.91%

Est @ 6.22%

Est @ 5.04%

Est @ 4.22%

Est @ 3.64%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.7%

US$487

US$593

US$647

US$677

US$687

US$682

US$666

US$644

US$617

US$588

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$6.3b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 (2.3%) 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 8.7%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.4b× (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (8.7%– 2.3%) = US$22b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$22b÷ ( 1 + 8.7%)10= US$9.4b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is US$16b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$123, the company appears quite good value at a 42% 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

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 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 Churchill Downs 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 8.7%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.395. 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 Churchill Downs

Strength

  • No major strengths identified for CHDN.

Weakness

  • Earnings declined over the past year.

  • Interest payments on debt are not well covered.

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

Opportunity

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

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

Threat

  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow.

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

Looking Ahead:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. If a company grows at a different rate, or if its cost of equity or risk free rate changes sharply, the output can look very different. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For Churchill Downs, we've compiled three relevant factors you should assess:

  1. Risks: For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Churchill Downs (1 doesn't sit too well with us) you should be aware of.

  2. Future Earnings: How does CHDN'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.