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Occidental Petroleum Corporation's (NYSE:OXY) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 30% Above Its Share Price

Key Insights

  • The projected fair value for Occidental Petroleum is US$82.20 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity

  • Current share price of US$63.41 suggests Occidental Petroleum is potentially 23% undervalued

  • The US$70.86 analyst price target for OXY is 14% less than our estimate of fair value

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) as an investment opportunity by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. Our analysis will employ 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. 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 Occidental Petroleum

The Method

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) estimate

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

2033

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$4.68b

US$6.17b

US$6.24b

US$5.22b

US$5.34b

US$5.15b

US$5.05b

US$5.03b

US$5.04b

US$5.09b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x4

Analyst x3

Analyst x3

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Est @ -3.58%

Est @ -1.79%

Est @ -0.54%

Est @ 0.34%

Est @ 0.95%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.5%

US$4.3k

US$5.2k

US$4.9k

US$3.8k

US$3.6k

US$3.2k

US$2.9k

US$2.6k

US$2.4k

US$2.3k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$35b

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. 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 (2.4%) 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 8.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$5.1b× (1 + 2.4%) ÷ (8.5%– 2.4%) = US$85b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$85b÷ ( 1 + 8.5%)10= US$38b

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$73b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$63.4, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 23% 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.

dcf
dcf

Important Assumptions

We would point out that 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 Occidental Petroleum 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 8.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.327. 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 Occidental Petroleum

Strength

  • Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.

  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.

Weakness

  • Earnings declined over the past year.

  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Oil and Gas 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.

Looking Ahead:

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. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For Occidental Petroleum, we've compiled three relevant factors you should further research:

  1. Risks: As an example, we've found 2 warning signs for Occidental Petroleum that you need to consider before investing here.

  2. Future Earnings: How does OXY'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 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.