Estimating The Intrinsic Value Of Diamondback Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:FANG)

Simply Wall St · 09/15/2023 10:23

Key Insights

  • Diamondback Energy's estimated fair value is US$158 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity
  • Diamondback Energy's US$158 share price indicates it is trading at similar levels as its fair value estimate
  • The US$174 analyst price target for FANG is 10% more than our estimate of fair value

Does the September share price for Diamondback Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:FANG) 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 use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.

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 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Diamondback Energy

The Calculation

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 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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$3.07b US$2.99b US$2.92b US$2.51b US$2.42b US$2.38b US$2.36b US$2.37b US$2.38b US$2.41b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x12 Analyst x10 Analyst x4 Analyst x2 Est @ -3.58% Est @ -1.86% Est @ -0.66% Est @ 0.18% Est @ 0.77% Est @ 1.19%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.5% US$2.8k US$2.5k US$2.3k US$1.8k US$1.6k US$1.5k US$1.3k US$1.2k US$1.1k US$1.1k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$17b

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 (2.2%) 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 8.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$2.4b× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (8.5%– 2.2%) = US$39b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$39b÷ ( 1 + 8.5%)10= US$17b

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$34b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$158, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. 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
NasdaqGS:FANG Discounted Cash Flow September 15th 2023

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. 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 Diamondback 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 8.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.278. 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 Diamondback Energy

Strength
  • Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.
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
  • Good value based on P/E ratio compared to estimated Fair P/E ratio.
Threat
  • Dividends are not covered by cash flow.
  • Annual earnings are forecast to decline for the next 3 years.

Looking Ahead:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. For Diamondback Energy, we've put together three further factors you should further examine:

  1. Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with Diamondback Energy (at least 1 which is concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for FANG'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 NASDAQGS every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.