A Look At The Fair Value Of New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. (NYSE:EDU)

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How far off is New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. (NYSE:EDU) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we’ll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today’s value. This will be done using 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. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

See our latest analysis for New Oriental Education & Technology Group

Step by step through 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

2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$844.4m US$1.19b US$1.38b US$1.55b US$1.69b US$1.81b US$1.91b US$1.99b US$2.07b US$2.14b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x10 Analyst x9 Est @ 16.12% Est @ 11.95% Est @ 9.03% Est @ 6.99% Est @ 5.56% Est @ 4.56% Est @ 3.85% Est @ 3.36%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.1% US$781 US$1.0k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.0k US$986

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

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 2.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today’s value at a cost of equity of 8.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$2.1b× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (8.1%– 2.2%) = US$37b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$37b÷ ( 1 + 8.1%)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$28b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$145, the company appears about fair value at a 17% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula – garbage in, garbage out.

Important assumptions

Now 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 New Oriental Education & Technology Group 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 8.1%, 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.

Looking Ahead:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it 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. 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. For New Oriental Education & Technology Group, there are three essential items you should further examine:

  1. Financial Health: Does EDU 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 EDU’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.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.

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