Kellanova's (NYSE:K) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 96% Above Its Share Price

Kellogg Company -1.59%

Kellogg Company

K

58.76

-1.59%

Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, Kellanova fair value estimate is US$112
  • Current share price of US$57.29 suggests Kellanova is potentially 49% undervalued
  • Analyst price target for K is US$59.58 which is 47% below our fair value estimate

Does the March share price for Kellanova (NYSE:K) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

We would caution that there are many ways of valuing a company and, like the DCF, each technique has advantages and disadvantages in certain scenarios. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

View our latest analysis for Kellanova

Is Kellanova Fairly Valued?

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 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$992.0m US$1.22b US$1.34b US$1.43b US$1.50b US$1.57b US$1.63b US$1.68b US$1.73b US$1.78b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Est @ 6.62% Est @ 5.32% Est @ 4.41% Est @ 3.77% Est @ 3.33% Est @ 3.02% Est @ 2.80%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.0% US$936 US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.0k US$998

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$11b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 6.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.8b× (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (6.0%– 2.3%) = US$50b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$50b÷ ( 1 + 6.0%)10= US$28b

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$38b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$57.3, the company appears quite undervalued at a 49% 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
NYSE:K Discounted Cash Flow March 29th 2024

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 Kellanova 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 6.0%, 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 Kellanova

Strength
  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded its 5-year average.
  • Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.
Weakness
  • Earnings growth over the past year underperformed the Food industry.
  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Food 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
  • Dividends are not covered by earnings.
  • 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. 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 Kellanova, there are three important aspects you should assess:

  1. Risks: Be aware that Kellanova is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for K'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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the NYSE every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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