A Look At The Fair Value Of Metro Inc. (TSE:MRU)

How far off is Metro Inc. (TSE:MRU) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, I am going to take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today’s value. I will use the discounted cash flows (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple! If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the basis for my calcs can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model. Please also note that this article was written in January 2019 so be sure check out the updated calculation by following the link below.

Check out our latest analysis for Metro

Crunching the numbers

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. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next five years. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. I then discount the sum of these cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate.

5-year cash flow forecast

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Levered FCF (CA$, Millions) CA$627.20 CA$706.95 CA$737.78 CA$769.96 CA$803.54
Source Analyst x4 Analyst x4 Est @ 4.36% Est @ 4.36% Est @ 4.36%
Present Value Discounted @ 8.47% CA$578.24 CA$600.88 CA$578.13 CA$556.24 CA$535.18

Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= CA$2.8b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after the five years. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of the GDP. In this case I have used the 10-year government bond rate (2.3%). In the same way as with the 5-year ‘growth’ period, we discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 8.5%.

Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2023 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CA$804m × (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (8.5% – 2.3%) = CA$13b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = CA$13b ÷ ( 1 + 8.5%)5 = CA$8.9b

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next five years and the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is CA$12b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding, or the equivalent number if this is a depositary receipt or ADR. This results in an intrinsic value of CA$51.83. Relative to the current share price of CA$47.25, the stock is about right, perhaps slightly undervalued at a 8.8% discount to what it is available for right now.

TSX:MRU Intrinsic Value Export January 2nd 19
TSX:MRU Intrinsic Value Export January 2nd 19

Important 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 my result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. Because we are looking at Metro as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighed average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation I’ve used 8.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.800. This is derived from the Bottom-Up Beta method based on comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.

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. For MRU, there are three relevant aspects you should further research:

  1. Financial Health: Does MRU have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
  2. Future Earnings: How does MRU’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: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of MRU? 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 for every stock on the TSE every 6 hours. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.