Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Ovintiv Inc. (TSE:OVV) as an investment opportunity by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.
Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.
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. 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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:
10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||US$2.05b||US$1.59b||US$1.34b||US$1.20b||US$1.12b||US$1.07b||US$1.04b||US$1.03b||US$1.02b||US$1.03b|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x5||Analyst x1||Est @ -15.62%||Est @ -10.48%||Est @ -6.88%||Est @ -4.35%||Est @ -2.59%||Est @ -1.35%||Est @ -0.49%||Est @ 0.12%|
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 11%||US$1.8k||US$1.3k||US$988||US$798||US$671||US$579||US$509||US$454||US$407||US$368|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$7.9b
We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 1.5%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 11%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.0b× (1 + 1.5%) ÷ (11%– 1.5%) = US$11b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$11b÷ ( 1 + 11%)10= US$4.0b
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$12b. 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$32.7, the company appears quite undervalued at a 43% discount to where the stock price trades currently. 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.
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 Ovintiv 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 11%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.961. 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.
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. 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Ovintiv, there are three pertinent elements you should further research:
- Risks: Be aware that Ovintiv is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...
- Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for OVV's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
- 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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the TSX 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. 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.
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