Why Texas Instruments Is Fairly Valued Despite Weak Outlook

| About: Texas Instruments (TXN)

As part of our process, we perform a rigorous discounted cash-flow methodology that dives into the true intrinsic worth of companies. In Texas Instruments' (TXN) case, we think the firm is fairly valued at $28 per share, near where it is currently trading. In the spirit of transparency, our report on Texas Instruments and hundreds of other companies can be found here.

For some background, we think a comprehensive analysis of a firm's discounted cash-flow valuation, relative valuation versus industry peers, as well as an assessment of technical and momentum indicators is the best way to identify the most attractive stocks at the best time to buy. This process culminates in what we call our Valuentum Buying Index (click here for more info on our methodology), our Valuentum Buying Index (click here for more info on our methodology), which ranks stocks on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best.

In the spirit of transparency, we show how the performance of our VBI has stacked up per underlying score:

If a company is undervalued both on a DCF and on a relative valuation basis and is showing improvement in technical and momentum indicators, it scores high on our scale. Texas Instruments posts a VBI score of 3 on our scale, reflecting our 'fairly valued' DCF assessment, neutral relative valuation versus peers, and bearish technicals. We use Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Avago Tech (AVGO), Intel (INTC), and STMicroelectronics (STM) in our peer group analysis.

Our Report on Texas Instruments

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Investment Considerations

Investment Highlights

Texas Instruments ' business quality (an evaluation of our ValueCreation™ and ValueRisk™ ratings) ranks among the best of the firms in our coverage universe. The firm has been generating economic value for shareholders with relatively stable operating results for the past few years, a combination we view very positively.

The company looks fairly valued at this time. We expect the firm to trade within our fair value estimate range for the time being. If the firm's share price fell below $22, we'd take a closer look.

Texas Instruments has an excellent combination of strong free cash flow generation and low financial leverage. We expect the firm's free cash flow margin to average about 17.3% in coming years. Total debt-to- EBITDA was 1.3 last year, while debt-to-book capitalization stood at 33.8%.

The firm's share price performance has trailed that of the market during the past quarter. However, it is trading within our fair value estimate range, so we don't view such activity as alarming.

The firm sports a very nice dividend yield of 2.5%. We expect the company to pay out about 40% of next year's earnings to shareholders as dividends. Texas Instruments is included on our dividend growth watch list in the August edition of our Dividend Growth Newsletter.

Most Recent Quarterly Results

Texas Instruments reported mixed second-quarter earnings. Though the firm earned $0.44 per share on an adjusted basis versus consensus estimates of $0.41, revenue came in below expectations, dropping 4% year-over-year to $3.3 billion. Further, the company guided below the consensus forecast for its third quarter due to a reduced demand outlook and limited visibility heading into the back half of the year. Earnings are now expected to come in the range of $0.34-$0.42 per share during the third quarter, negatively impacted by $0.07 as a result of restructuring charges (consensus was at $0.43 per share).

Though profits fell year-over-year, operating cash flow grew 7% for the second quarter and the company generated over $300 million in free cash flow. Although the acquisition of National Semiconductor is helping the firm grow revenue (namely in the analog segment), several of its units are struggling. Revenue in embedded processing and the wireless segments fell 15% and 39% during the quarter, respectively. Even though we don't think the firm is in any short-term trouble, such large revenue declines are troubling, especially since orders continue to slow as customers delay purchases due to global economic uncertainty. From the company's conference call:

"Even though we believe inventory of TI products is low at our OEM customers and distributors, both are reluctant to place new orders and commit to backlog given the uncertainty in the overall economic environment. This, combined with lead times that are largely below 6 weeks, has resulted in our window of backlog coverage narrowing... Although backlog for July and August has filled in consistent with a typical third quarter, at this point, our visibility is somewhat reduced for the month of September. This could reflect a range of reasons and potential outcomes. On the one hand, customers could be anticipating their own businesses to slow. On the other hand, customers may simply be waiting until the last minute to place orders, given short lead times."

Economic Profit Analysis

The best measure of a firm's ability to create value for shareholders is expressed by comparing its return on invested capital (ROIC) with its weighted average cost of capital (OTC:WACC). The gap or difference between ROIC and WACC is called the firm's economic profit spread. Texas Instruments' 3-year historical return on invested capital (without goodwill) is 38.6%, which is above the estimate of its cost of capital of 9.8%. 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

Firms that generate a free cash flow margin (free cash flow divided by total revenue) above 5% are usually considered cash cows. Texas Instruments' free cash flow margin has averaged about 18.2% during the past 3 years. As such, we think the firm's cash flow generation is relatively STRONG. 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 Texas Instruments, cash flow from
operations increased about 23% from levels registered two years ago, while capital expenditures expanded about 8% over the same time period.

Valuation Analysis

Our discounted cash flow model indicates that Texas Instruments' shares are worth between $22.00 - $34.00 each. The margin of safety around our fair value estimate is driven by the firm's LOW ValueRisk™ rating, which is derived from the historical volatility of key valuation drivers. The estimated fair value of $28 per share represents a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of about 14.7 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 3.3% during the next five years, a pace that is higher than the firm's 3-year historical compound annual growth rate of 3.2%. Our model reflects a 5-year projected average operating margin of 22.7%, which is below
Texas Instruments' trailing 3-year average. Beyond year 5, we assume free cash flow will grow at an annual rate of 2.1% for the next 15 years and 3% in perpetuity. For Texas Instruments, we use a 9.8% 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 firm's fair value at about $28 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 Texas Instruments. We think the firm is attractive below $22 per share (the green line), but quite expensive above $34 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 Texas Instruments' fair value at this point in time to be about $28 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 firm's current share price with the path of Texas Instruments' 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 firm's shares three years hence. This range of potential outcomes is also subject to change over time, should our views on the firm's future cash flow potential change. The expected fair value of $36 per share in Year 3 represents our existing fair value per share of $28 increased at an annual rate of the firm'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.

Additional disclosure: INTC is included in our actively-managed portfolios.

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