Is There An Opportunity With Minerals Technologies Inc.’s (NYSE:MTX) 40% Undervaluation?

Does the July share price for Minerals Technologies Inc. (NYSE:MTX) reflect what it’s really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock’s intrinsic value by estimating the company’s future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. 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 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Minerals Technologies

The model

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. To begin with, we have to get estimates of 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.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, so we discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today’s dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$164.0m US$178.0m US$184.0m US$189.5m US$194.7m US$199.8m US$204.8m US$209.7m US$214.7m US$219.6m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 3.34% Est @ 3.01% Est @ 2.77% Est @ 2.61% Est @ 2.49% Est @ 2.41% Est @ 2.35% Est @ 2.31%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 9.5% US$150 US$148 US$140 US$132 US$124 US$116 US$109 US$102 US$94.9 US$88.7

(“Est” = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$1.2b

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business’s cash flow after the first stage. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of a country’s GDP growth. In this case we have used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (2.2%) to estimate future growth. In the same way as with the 10-year ‘growth’ period, we discount future cash flows to today’s value, using a cost of equity of 9.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$220m× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (9.5%– 2.2%) = US$3.1b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$3.1b÷ ( 1 + 9.5%)10= US$1.2b

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$2.4b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$43.1, the company appears quite good value at a 40% 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.

NYSE:MTX Discounted Cash Flow July 10th 2020
NYSE:MTX Discounted Cash Flow July 10th 2020

The assumptions

We would point out that the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate and of course the actual cash flows. Part of investing is coming up with your own evaluation of a company’s future performance, so try the calculation yourself and check your own assumptions. 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 Minerals Technologies 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 9.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.210. 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.

Moving On:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it ideally won’t be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize 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. For example, changes in the company’s cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Minerals Technologies, we’ve put together three additional factors you should further research:

  1. Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 2 warning signs with Minerals Technologies , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
  2. Future Earnings: How does MTX’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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the NYSE every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks 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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