Calculating The Fair Value Of Linamar Corporation (TSE:LNR)

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 16, 2021
TSX:LNR
Source: Shutterstock

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Linamar Corporation (TSE:LNR) by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

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. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

See our latest analysis for Linamar

The model

We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second 'steady growth' period. 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) estimate

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF (CA$, Millions) CA$337.5m CA$324.4m CA$317.1m CA$313.6m CA$312.5m CA$313.3m CA$315.2m CA$318.0m CA$321.5m CA$325.4m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x2 Est @ -3.88% Est @ -2.25% Est @ -1.12% Est @ -0.32% Est @ 0.23% Est @ 0.62% Est @ 0.89% Est @ 1.08% Est @ 1.22%
Present Value (CA$, Millions) Discounted @ 8.6% CA$311 CA$275 CA$248 CA$226 CA$207 CA$191 CA$177 CA$165 CA$153 CA$143

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CA$2.1b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 (1.5%) 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 8.6%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CA$325m× (1 + 1.5%) ÷ (8.6%– 1.5%) = CA$4.7b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CA$4.7b÷ ( 1 + 8.6%)10= CA$2.1b

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 CA$4.2b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of CA$67.1, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

dcf
TSX:LNR Discounted Cash Flow September 17th 2021

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 Linamar 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 8.6%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.491. 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. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or overvalued. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. For Linamar, there are three essential aspects you should assess:

  1. Risks: Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Linamar (of which 1 doesn't sit too well with us!) you should know about.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for LNR's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
  3. Other Solid Businesses: Low debt, high returns on equity and good past performance are fundamental to a strong business. Why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals to see if there are other companies you may not have considered!

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

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