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Are Investors Undervaluing ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE:OKE) By 42%?

Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, ONEOK fair value estimate is US$102

  • Current share price of US$58.74 suggests ONEOK is potentially 42% undervalued

  • Our fair value estimate is 44% higher than ONEOK's analyst price target of US$70.35

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE:OKE) as an investment opportunity by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Models like these may appear beyond the comprehension of a lay person, but they're fairly easy to follow.

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

PUBLICIDAD

See our latest analysis for ONEOK

Crunching The Numbers

We're using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company's growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have a stable growth rate. 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) estimate

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$2.37b

US$2.32b

US$3.45b

US$3.86b

US$4.20b

US$4.49b

US$4.73b

US$4.94b

US$5.13b

US$5.30b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x4

Analyst x3

Analyst x2

Est @ 11.80%

Est @ 8.89%

Est @ 6.86%

Est @ 5.43%

Est @ 4.44%

Est @ 3.74%

Est @ 3.25%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 11%

US$2.1k

US$1.9k

US$2.5k

US$2.6k

US$2.5k

US$2.4k

US$2.3k

US$2.2k

US$2.1k

US$1.9k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$23b

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 2.1%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 11%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$5.3b× (1 + 2.1%) ÷ (11%– 2.1%) = US$63b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$63b÷ ( 1 + 11%)10= US$23b

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next ten years plus the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US$45b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$58.7, the company appears quite good value at a 42% 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

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. 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 ONEOK 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 1.443. 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 ONEOK

Strength

  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded its 5-year average.

  • Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.

  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.

  • Dividend is in the top 25% of dividend payers in the market.

Weakness

  • Earnings growth over the past year underperformed the Oil and Gas industry.

Opportunity

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

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

Threat

  • Annual earnings are forecast to decline for the next 3 years.

Looking Ahead:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize 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. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For ONEOK, there are three additional aspects you should further research:

  1. Risks: For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for ONEOK (1 can't be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

  2. Future Earnings: How does OKE'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. 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.

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.

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