Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Altus Group Limited (TSE:AIF) as an investment opportunity by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.
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.
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 ten years. 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, 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
|Levered FCF (CA$, Millions)||CA$120.7m||CA$138.3m||CA$153.2m||CA$165.5m||CA$175.6m||CA$183.9m||CA$190.9m||CA$197.0m||CA$202.3m||CA$207.1m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x6||Est @ 14.65%||Est @ 10.75%||Est @ 8.01%||Est @ 6.1%||Est @ 4.76%||Est @ 3.82%||Est @ 3.16%||Est @ 2.7%||Est @ 2.38%|
|Present Value (CA$, Millions) Discounted @ 6.3%||CA$114||CA$123||CA$128||CA$130||CA$130||CA$128||CA$125||CA$121||CA$117||CA$113|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CA$1.2b
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 1.6%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.3%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CA$207m× (1 + 1.6%) ÷ (6.3%– 1.6%) = CA$4.5b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CA$4.5b÷ ( 1 + 6.3%)10= CA$2.5b
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$3.7b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of CA$55.4, the company appears quite good value at a 34% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.
Now 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 Altus Group 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 6.3%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.091. 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 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. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. If a company grows at a different rate, or if its cost of equity or risk free rate changes sharply, the output can look very different. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Altus Group, we've put together three further factors you should assess:
- Risks: Be aware that Altus Group is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is significant...
- Future Earnings: How does AIF'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.
- 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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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.
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