Estimating The Fair Value Of HEXO Corp. (TSE:HEXO)

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 21, 2020
TSX:HEXO

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of HEXO Corp. (TSE:HEXO) 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.

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 still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for HEXO

Crunching the numbers

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) estimate

2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Levered FCF (CA$, Millions) -CA$44.0m -CA$30.3m CA$1.25m CA$27.0m CA$29.0m CA$30.5m CA$31.7m CA$32.8m CA$33.7m CA$34.5m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x5 Analyst x4 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 5.1% Est @ 4.07% Est @ 3.35% Est @ 2.84% Est @ 2.49%
Present Value (CA$, Millions) Discounted @ 6.9% -CA$41.2 -CA$26.6 CA$1.0 CA$20.7 CA$20.8 CA$20.5 CA$19.9 CA$19.3 CA$18.6 CA$17.8

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CA$70m

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 (1.7%) 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)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CA$35m× (1 + 1.7%) ÷ (6.9%– 1.7%) = CA$676m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CA$676m÷ ( 1 + 6.9%)10= CA$348m

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$418m. 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$0.9, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. 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:HEXO Discounted Cash Flow August 21st 2020

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 HEXO 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 0.865. 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:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. For HEXO, we've put together three pertinent elements you should assess:

  1. Risks: To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with HEXO (including 1 which shouldn't be ignored) .
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for HEXO'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.

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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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020


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