Are Investors Undervaluing Secure Energy Services Inc. (TSE:SES) By 36%?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 11, 2022
TSX:SES
Source: Shutterstock

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Secure Energy Services Inc. (TSE:SES) by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. 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.

View our latest analysis for Secure Energy Services

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.

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

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF (CA$, Millions) CA$262.7m CA$334.1m CA$298.0m CA$277.5m CA$265.4m CA$258.6m CA$255.1m CA$254.0m CA$254.3m CA$255.8m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x6 Analyst x5 Analyst x1 Est @ -6.88% Est @ -4.35% Est @ -2.58% Est @ -1.33% Est @ -0.47% Est @ 0.14% Est @ 0.57%
Present Value (CA$, Millions) Discounted @ 9.7% CA$239 CA$278 CA$226 CA$191 CA$167 CA$148 CA$133 CA$121 CA$110 CA$101

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CA$1.7b

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 (1.6%) 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 9.7%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CA$256m× (1 + 1.6%) ÷ (9.7%– 1.6%) = CA$3.2b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CA$3.2b÷ ( 1 + 9.7%)10= CA$1.3b

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$3.0b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of CA$6.2, the company appears quite undervalued at a 36% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Valuations are imprecise instruments though, rather like a telescope - move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Do keep this in mind.

dcf
TSX:SES Discounted Cash Flow May 11th 2022

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 Secure Energy Services 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 9.7%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.926. 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.

Next Steps:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. 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. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For Secure Energy Services, there are three relevant aspects you should look at:

  1. Risks: Case in point, we've spotted 1 warning sign for Secure Energy Services you should be aware of.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for SES'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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