A Look At The Intrinsic Value Of Deutsche Post AG (ETR:DPW)

Does the September share price for Deutsche Post AG (ETR:DPW) reflect what it’s really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock’s intrinsic value by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today’s value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

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.

See our latest analysis for Deutsche Post

The calculation

We use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of growth rates for the company’s cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a lower growth phase. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next ten years. 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.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, so we need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Levered FCF (€, Millions) €2.01b €2.39b €3.38b €3.48b €3.54b €3.59b €3.63b €3.66b €3.68b €3.70b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x12 Analyst x10 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 1.9% Est @ 1.39% Est @ 1.04% Est @ 0.79% Est @ 0.62% Est @ 0.49%
Present Value (€, Millions) Discounted @ 6.4% €1.9k €2.1k €2.8k €2.7k €2.6k €2.5k €2.3k €2.2k €2.1k €2.0k

(“Est” = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = €23b

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 0.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today’s value at a cost of equity of 6.4%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = €3.7b× (1 + 0.2%) ÷ (6.4%– 0.2%) = €60b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= €60b÷ ( 1 + 6.4%)10= €32b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is €55b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of €38.6, the company appears about fair value at a 13% discount to where the stock price trades currently. 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
XTRA:DPW Discounted Cash Flow September 12th 2020

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 Deutsche Post 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 6.4%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.036. 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 is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. It’s not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. Preferably you’d apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company’s valuation. If a company grows at a different rate, or if its cost of equity or risk free rate changes sharply, the output can look very different. For Deutsche Post, we’ve put together three essential aspects you should look at:

  1. Risks: To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we’ve spotted with Deutsche Post .
  2. Future Earnings: How does DPW’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 High Quality Alternatives: Do you like a good all-rounder? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!

PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every German stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

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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.
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