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Is There An Opportunity With ChampionX Corporation's (NASDAQ:CHX) 28% Undervaluation?

Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, ChampionX fair value estimate is US$50.08

  • ChampionX's US$35.89 share price signals that it might be 28% undervalued

  • Our fair value estimate is 37% higher than ChampionX's analyst price target of US$36.64

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of ChampionX Corporation (NASDAQ:CHX) by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. 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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View our latest analysis for ChampionX

What's The Estimated Valuation?

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. 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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

2033

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$440.0m

US$504.0m

US$498.0m

US$560.0m

US$633.0m

US$673.6m

US$708.5m

US$739.0m

US$766.4m

US$791.5m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x4

Analyst x4

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Est @ 6.41%

Est @ 5.18%

Est @ 4.31%

Est @ 3.70%

Est @ 3.28%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.6%

US$405

US$427

US$389

US$403

US$419

US$411

US$398

US$382

US$365

US$347

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$3.9b

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 (2.3%) 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 8.6%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$792m× (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (8.6%– 2.3%) = US$13b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$13b÷ ( 1 + 8.6%)10= US$5.6b

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$9.6b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$35.9, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 28% 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

The 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 ChampionX 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 8.6%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.371. 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 ChampionX

Strength

  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.

  • 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 Energy Services market.

Opportunity

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

  • Trading below our estimate of fair value by more than 20%.

Threat

  • Annual earnings are 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 is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" 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. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For ChampionX, we've put together three relevant aspects you should further research:

  1. Financial Health: Does CHX 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 CHX'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.