Jabil Circuit (JBL) earns a ValueCreation™ rating of excellent, the highest possible mark on our scale. The company has been generating economic value for shareholders for the past few years, a track record we view very positively. Return on invested capital (excluding goodwill) has averaged 34.8% during the past three years.
Jabil Circuit 's valuation is compelling at this time. The stock is trading at a nice discount to our estimate of its fair value, even after considering an appropriate margin of safety. The company's forward earnings multiple and PEG ratio also look attractive versus peers.
Jabil Circuit 's cash flow generation and financial leverage are at decent levels, in our opinion. The company's free cash flow margin and debt-to-EBITDA metrics are about what we'd expect from an average company in our coverage universe.
The company's stock price has outperformed the benchmark during the last quarter, and its valuation still looks interesting at these levels. Investors could be accumulating shares, as the stock continues to trade at bargain-basement levels.
The best measure of a company's ability to create value for shareholders is expressed by comparing its return on invested capital [ROIC] with its weighted average cost of capital [WACC]. The gap or difference between ROIC and WACC is called the company's economic profit spread. Jabil Circuit 's 3-year historical return on invested capital (without goodwill) is 34.8%, which is above the estimate of its cost of capital of 10.3%. As such, we assign the firm a ValueCreation™ rating of excellent. In the chart below, we show the probable path of ROIC in the years ahead based on the estimated volatility of key drivers behind the measure. The solid grey line reflects the most likely outcome, in our opinion, and represents the scenario that results in our fair value estimate.
Cash Flow Analysis Companies that generate a free cash flow margin (free cash flow divided by total revenue) above 5% are usually considered cash cows. Jabil Circuit 's free cash flow margin has averaged about 1.6% during the past 3 years. As such, we think the company's cash flow generation is medium on our scale. The free cash flow measure shown above is derived by taking cash flow from operations less capital expenditures and differs from enterprise free cash flow [FCFF], which we use in deriving our fair value estimate for the company. For more information on the differences between these two measures, please visit our website at www.valuentum.com. At Jabil Circuit, cash flow from operations increased about 49% from levels registered two years ago, while capital expenditures expanded about 57% over the same time period.
We think Jabil Circuit is worth $32 per share, which represents a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of about 18.5 times last year's earnings and an implied EV/EBITDA multiple of about 8 times last year's EBITDA. Our model reflects a compound annual revenue growth rate of 5.8% during the next five years, a pace that is lower than the company's 3-year historical compound annual growth rate of 8.9%. Our model reflects a 5-year projected average operating margin of 5.2%, which is above Jabil Circuit 's trailing 3-year average. Beyond year 5, our valuation model assumes free cash flow will grow at an annual rate of 4.1% for the next 15 years and 3% in perpetuity. For Jabil Circuit , our model uses a 10.3% weighted average cost of capital to discount future free cash flows. Margin of Safety Analysis
Our discounted cash flow process values each firm on the basis of the present value of all future free cash flows. Although we estimate the company's fair value at about $32 per share, every company has a range of probable fair values that's created by the uncertainty of key valuation drivers (like future revenue or earnings, for example). After all, if the future was known with certainty, we wouldn't see much volatility in the markets, as stocks would trade precisely at their known fair values. Our ValueRisk™ rating sets the margin of safety or the fair value range we assign to each stock. In the graph below, we show this probable range of fair values for Jabil Circuit . We think the company is attractive below $22 per share (the green line), but quite expensive above $42 per share (the red line). The prices that fall along the yellow line, which includes our fair value estimate, represent a reasonable valuation for the firm, in our opinion. Future Path of Fair Value
We estimate Jabil Circuit 's fair value at this point in time to be about $32 per share. As time passes, however, companies generate cash flow and pay out cash to shareholders in the form of dividends. The chart below compares the company's current share price with the path of Jabil Circuit 's expected equity value per share over the next three years, assuming our long-term projections prove accurate. The range between the resulting downside fair value and upside fair value in Year 3 represents our best estimate of the value of the company's shares three years hence. This range of potential outcomes is also subject to change over time, should our views on the company's future cash flow potential change. The expected fair value of $43 per share in Year 3 represents our existing fair value per share of $32 increased at an annual rate of the company's cost of equity less its dividend yield. The upside and downside ranges are derived in the same way, but from the upper and lower bounds of our fair value estimate range. Pro Forma Financial Statements Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.