The good news is that T-Mobile US (NASDAQ:TMUS) has done well this year and is one of the few stocks up year-to-date. At $132.70 per share on April 20, it has gained 14.4% from $115.98 where it closed last year. The bad news is that TMUS stock is not cheap and already incorporates a lot of good news in its price.
Last year its post-paid accounts doubled to 1.2 million. As a result, its revenue was up 6% in the fourth quarter, according to its latest financials. But the bad news is net income fell year-over-year (YOY) to $422 million in Q4 2021 and decreased YOY to $3 billion in full-year 2021.
However, there is still some good news. Free cash flow (FCF) actually doubled to $1.1 billion in Q4. This can be seen on on page three of the company’s financial report. That number represents 5.34% of its $20.79 billion in revenue that quarter.
This is not high, but represents a good start. For example, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) produced $19.3 billion in FCF on revenue of $133.6 billion last year. That’s a 14.5% margin, 2.7 times that of of T-Mobile. We can use that to figure out if TMUS stock is too high.
Analysts now forecast revenue in 2022 will reach $81.1 billion, slightly higher than $80.1 billion last year. If we assume it makes a 5.3% FCF margin, free cash flow will hit $4.3 billion. We can use that to value TMUS stock.
For example, using an 8% FCF yield, we can estimate that T-Mobile should have a market capitalization of $54 billion. An 8% FCF yield is the same thing as multiplying the FCF by 12.5. The reason this is important is that Verizon has an FCF yield of 8.7% (i.e., $19.9 billion divided by its $228.5 billion market value.)
So this shows that compared to Verizon, TMUS stock is considerably overvalued. Right now, T-Mobile has a market cap of $165.78 billion compared to a comp value of $54 billion. In fact, even if we multiplied its FCF by 31.3 times (i.e., 2.5 times more than Verizon), it is worth only $134.5 billion compared to its market cap today.
In other words, there is simply no way to justify the high price that TMUS stock is trading at right now, given its growth rate. All the growth is more than priced in at this point. Value investors should steer clear of T-Mobile US as a result.
On the date of publication, Mark Hake did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.