Stock Analysis

Thomson Reuters Corporation's (TSE:TRI) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 20% Below Its Share Price

TSX:TRI
Source: Shutterstock

Key Insights

  • Thomson Reuters' estimated fair value is CA$137 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity
  • Thomson Reuters is estimated to be 25% overvalued based on current share price of CA$171
  • The US$178 analyst price target for TRI is 30% more than our estimate of fair value

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Thomson Reuters Corporation (TSE:TRI) by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

View our latest analysis for Thomson Reuters

The Method

We're using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company's growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have a stable growth rate. 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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, 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 ($, Millions) US$1.83b US$2.02b US$2.20b US$2.69b US$2.84b US$2.95b US$3.05b US$3.14b US$3.22b US$3.29b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x9 Analyst x8 Analyst x3 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 3.99% Est @ 3.33% Est @ 2.87% Est @ 2.55% Est @ 2.33%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.3% US$1.7k US$1.8k US$1.8k US$2.0k US$2.0k US$1.9k US$1.9k US$1.8k 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 7.3%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$3.3b× (1 + 1.8%) ÷ (7.3%– 1.8%) = US$62b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$62b÷ ( 1 + 7.3%)10= US$31b

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$49b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of CA$171, the company appears slightly overvalued 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.

dcf
TSX:TRI Discounted Cash Flow June 18th 2023

Important 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. 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 7.3%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.918. 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.
  • Expensive based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.
Opportunity
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow faster than the Canadian market.
Threat
  • Annual revenue is forecast to grow slower than the Canadian market.

Next Steps:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching 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 instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. Can we work out why the company is trading at a premium to intrinsic value? For Thomson Reuters, we've put together three pertinent aspects you should assess:

  1. Risks: Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Thomson Reuters you should know about.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for TRI's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
  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 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.