Stock Analysis

A Look At The Intrinsic Value Of Thomson Reuters Corporation (TSE:TRI)

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Thomson Reuters Corporation (TSE:TRI) by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

We generally believe that a company's value is the present value of all of the cash it will generate in the future. However, a DCF is just one valuation metric among many, and it is not without flaws. 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 Thomson Reuters

Crunching The Numbers

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) forecast

 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 Levered FCF (\$, Millions) US\$1.83b US\$2.02b US\$2.23b US\$2.47b US\$2.64b US\$2.76b US\$2.87b US\$2.96b US\$3.05b US\$3.12b Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x8 Analyst x7 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 4.77% Est @ 3.87% Est @ 3.23% Est @ 2.79% Est @ 2.48% Present Value (\$, Millions) Discounted @ 6.9% US\$1.7k US\$1.8k US\$1.8k US\$1.9k US\$1.9k US\$1.9k US\$1.8k US\$1.7k US\$1.7k US\$1.6k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US\$18b

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 (1.8%) 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 6.9%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US\$3.1b× (1 + 1.8%) ÷ (6.9%– 1.8%) = US\$62b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US\$62b÷ ( 1 + 6.9%)10= US\$32b

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 US\$50b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of CA\$161, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. 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.

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 Thomson Reuters 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 6.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.863. 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 Thomson Reuters

Strength
• Debt is not viewed as a risk.
• Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.
Weakness
• Earnings declined over the past year.
• Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Professional Services market.
Opportunity
• Annual revenue is forecast to grow faster than the Canadian market.
• Good value based on P/E ratio compared to estimated Fair P/E ratio.
Threat
• Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the Canadian market.

Moving On:

Although the valuation of a company is important, 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. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" 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 Thomson Reuters, there are three further elements you should further research:

1. Risks: Take risks, for example - Thomson Reuters has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
2. Future Earnings: How does TRI'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 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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Thomson Reuters is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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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.