Stock Analysis

# Calculating The Fair Value Of Lynas Rare Earths Limited (ASX:LYC)

Does the January share price for Lynas Rare Earths Limited (ASX:LYC) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. 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 Lynas Rare Earths

## 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

 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 Levered FCF (A\$, Millions) -AU\$76.8m AU\$242.3m AU\$913.6m AU\$858.2m AU\$803.2m AU\$773.4m AU\$757.7m AU\$751.2m AU\$750.9m AU\$754.9m Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x4 Analyst x4 Analyst x4 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ -3.71% Est @ -2.03% Est @ -0.86% Est @ -0.04% Est @ 0.53% Present Value (A\$, Millions) Discounted @ 8.5% -AU\$70.8 AU\$206 AU\$716 AU\$620 AU\$535 AU\$475 AU\$429 AU\$392 AU\$361 AU\$335

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = AU\$4.0b

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after 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 1.9%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 8.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = AU\$755m× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (8.5%– 1.9%) = AU\$12b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= AU\$12b÷ ( 1 + 8.5%)10= AU\$5.2b

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next ten years plus the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is AU\$9.2b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of AU\$9.0, the company appears about fair value at a 11% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

## The Assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. If you don't agree with these result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the 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 Lynas Rare Earths 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 8.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.097. 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.

### SWOT Analysis for Lynas Rare Earths

Strength
• Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.
• Debt is not viewed as a risk.
Weakness
• No major weaknesses identified for LYC.
Opportunity
• Annual earnings are forecast to grow faster than the Australian market.
• Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.
Threat
• Revenue is forecast to grow slower than 20% per year.

Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. 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. For Lynas Rare Earths, we've compiled three further elements you should explore:

1. Risks: You should be aware of the 1 warning sign for Lynas Rare Earths we've uncovered before considering an investment in the company.
2. Future Earnings: How does LYC'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 ASX 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. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.