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A Look At The Intrinsic Value Of Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ:EXC)

Key Insights

  • Using the Dividend Discount Model, Exelon fair value estimate is US$33.81

  • Current share price of US$39.75 suggests Exelon is potentially trading close to its fair value

  • Analyst price target for EXC is US$45.84, which is 36% above our fair value estimate

Does the June share price for Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ:EXC) 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 their present value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

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See our latest analysis for Exelon

What's The Estimated Valuation?

As Exelon operates in the electric utilities sector, we need to calculate the intrinsic value slightly differently. In this approach dividends per share (DPS) are used, as free cash flow is difficult to estimate and often not reported by analysts. This often underestimates the value of a stock, but it can still be good as a comparison to competitors. The 'Gordon Growth Model' is used, which simply assumes that dividend payments will continue to increase at a sustainable growth rate forever. The dividend is expected to grow at an annual growth rate equal to the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield of 2.1%. We then discount this figure to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.9%. Relative to the current share price of US$39.8, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it is better to view this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last cent.

Value Per Share = Expected Dividend Per Share / (Discount Rate - Perpetual Growth Rate)

= US$1.6 / (6.9% – 2.1%)

= US$33.8

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. You don't have to agree with these inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. 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 Exelon 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 6.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.800. 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 Exelon

Strength

  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.

Weakness

  • Interest payments on debt are not well covered.

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

Opportunity

  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow for the next 3 years.

  • Good value based on P/E ratio compared to estimated Fair P/E ratio.

Threat

  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow.

  • Paying a dividend but company has no free cash flows.

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

Moving On:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching 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. For Exelon, we've compiled three important items you should further examine:

  1. Risks: As an example, we've found 2 warning signs for Exelon (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that you need to consider before investing here.

  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for EXC's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.

  3. Other Solid Businesses: Low debt, high returns on equity and good past performance are fundamental to a strong business. Why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals to see if there are other companies you may not have considered!

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.

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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