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CarMax, Inc. (NYSE:KMX) Shares Could Be 40% Below Their Intrinsic Value Estimate

Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, CarMax fair value estimate is US$116

  • CarMax is estimated to be 40% undervalued based on current share price of US$69.35

  • Analyst price target for KMX is US$80.35 which is 30% below our fair value estimate

Does the April share price for CarMax, Inc. (NYSE:KMX) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. Models like these may appear beyond the comprehension of a lay person, but they're fairly easy to follow.

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. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

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Check out our latest analysis for CarMax

Step By Step Through 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. To start off with, we need to estimate 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 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$91.6m

US$192.1m

US$238.7m

US$836.7m

US$1.23b

US$1.65b

US$2.06b

US$2.42b

US$2.74b

US$3.01b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Est @ 47.52%

Est @ 33.95%

Est @ 24.45%

Est @ 17.80%

Est @ 13.15%

Est @ 9.89%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 11%

US$82.3

US$155

US$173

US$544

US$721

US$867

US$969

US$1.0k

US$1.0k

US$1.0k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$6.6b

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 11%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$3.0b× (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (11%– 2.3%) = US$34b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$34b÷ ( 1 + 11%)10= US$12b

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$18b. 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$69.4, the company appears quite undervalued at a 40% 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. 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 CarMax 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 11%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.972. 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 CarMax

Strength

  • Debt is well covered by earnings.

Weakness

  • Earnings declined over the past year.

Opportunity

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

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

Threat

  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow.

  • 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. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. 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 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 CarMax, we've compiled three additional aspects you should further research:

  1. Risks: For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for CarMax that you should be aware of before investing here.

  2. Future Earnings: How does KMX'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.