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Is C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHRW) Trading At A 38% Discount?

Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, C.H. Robinson Worldwide fair value estimate is US$116

  • Current share price of US$71.68 suggests C.H. Robinson Worldwide is potentially 38% undervalued

  • Analyst price target for CHRW is US$78.57 which is 32% below our fair value estimate

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHRW) as an investment opportunity by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

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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Check out our latest analysis for C.H. Robinson Worldwide

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. 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 discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

2033

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$465.1m

US$475.9m

US$501.3m

US$576.3m

US$646.5m

US$698.6m

US$742.9m

US$780.9m

US$814.3m

US$844.2m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x6

Analyst x6

Analyst x3

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Est @ 8.07%

Est @ 6.33%

Est @ 5.12%

Est @ 4.27%

Est @ 3.68%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.0%

US$435

US$415

US$409

US$439

US$460

US$464

US$461

US$453

US$441

US$427

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$4.4b

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 (2.3%) 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 7.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$844m× (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (7.0%– 2.3%) = US$18b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$18b÷ ( 1 + 7.0%)10= US$9.2b

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$14b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$71.7, the company appears quite undervalued at a 38% discount to where the stock price trades currently. 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.

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. 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 C.H. Robinson Worldwide 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 7.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.034. 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 C.H. Robinson Worldwide

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 Logistics market.

Opportunity

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

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

Threat

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

Next Steps:

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. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For C.H. Robinson Worldwide, there are three relevant elements you should assess:

  1. Risks: To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with C.H. Robinson Worldwide .

  2. Future Earnings: How does CHRW'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.