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Coterra Energy Inc.'s (NYSE:CTRA) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 89% Above Its Share Price

Key Insights

  • Coterra Energy's estimated fair value is US$52.55 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity

  • Coterra Energy's US$27.86 share price signals that it might be 47% undervalued

  • Analyst price target for CTRA is US$31.44 which is 40% below our fair value estimate

How far off is Coterra Energy Inc. (NYSE:CTRA) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the rationale behind this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model.

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See our latest analysis for Coterra Energy

Crunching The Numbers

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. To begin with, we have to get estimates of the next ten years of cash flows. 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$1.31b

US$2.09b

US$2.24b

US$2.31b

US$2.38b

US$2.44b

US$2.50b

US$2.56b

US$2.62b

US$2.68b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x10

Analyst x9

Analyst x5

Est @ 2.96%

Est @ 2.76%

Est @ 2.62%

Est @ 2.52%

Est @ 2.45%

Est @ 2.40%

Est @ 2.37%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.7%

US$1.2k

US$1.8k

US$1.8k

US$1.7k

US$1.6k

US$1.6k

US$1.5k

US$1.4k

US$1.3k

US$1.3k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$15b

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. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at a future annual growth rate equal to the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield of 2.3%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 7.7%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$2.7b× (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (7.7%– 2.3%) = US$51b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$51b÷ ( 1 + 7.7%)10= US$24b

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$40b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$27.9, the company appears quite good value at a 47% 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. Part of investing is coming up with your own evaluation of a company's future performance, so try the calculation yourself and check your own 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 Coterra Energy 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 7.7%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.174. 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 Coterra Energy

Strength

  • Debt is not viewed as a risk.

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

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

Threat

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

Moving On:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. 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. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For Coterra Energy, we've compiled three relevant items you should further examine:

  1. Risks: You should be aware of the 3 warning signs for Coterra Energy we've uncovered before considering an investment in the company.

  2. Future Earnings: How does CTRA'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.