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IDEX Corporation's (NYSE:IEX) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 27% Above Its Share Price

Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, IDEX fair value estimate is US$311

  • Current share price of US$244 suggests IDEX is potentially 21% undervalued

  • Analyst price target for IEX is US$236 which is 24% below our fair value estimate

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of IDEX Corporation (NYSE:IEX) by projecting its future cash flows and then 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!

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. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

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View our latest analysis for IDEX

Is IDEX Fairly Valued?

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, 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$621.3m

US$724.0m

US$775.4m

US$931.2m

US$1.11b

US$1.23b

US$1.33b

US$1.42b

US$1.49b

US$1.56b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x7

Analyst x6

Analyst x4

Analyst x2

Analyst x1

Est @ 10.97%

Est @ 8.37%

Est @ 6.54%

Est @ 5.27%

Est @ 4.37%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.2%

US$580

US$630

US$629

US$705

US$781

US$808

US$817

US$812

US$797

US$776

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$7.3b

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 7.2%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.6b× (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (7.2%– 2.3%) = US$32b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$32b÷ ( 1 + 7.2%)10= US$16b

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$24b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$244, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 21% 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

The Assumptions

We would point out that the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate and of course the actual 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 IDEX 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 7.2%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.067. 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 IDEX

Strength

  • Debt is not viewed as a risk.

  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.

Weakness

  • Earnings growth over the past year underperformed the Machinery industry.

  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Machinery 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:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. 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. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For IDEX, there are three important factors you should further research:

  1. Financial Health: Does IEX 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 IEX'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.