An Intrinsic Calculation For Gesco AG (ETR:GSC1) Suggests It's 36% Undervalued

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 19, 2021
XTRA:GSC1
Source: Shutterstock

How far off is Gesco AG (ETR:GSC1) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

We would caution that there are many ways of valuing a company and, like the DCF, each technique has advantages and disadvantages in certain scenarios. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for Gesco

The method

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 start off with, we need to estimate 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, so we need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Levered FCF (€, Millions) €8.80m €15.0m €16.8m €20.4m €21.5m €22.1m €22.6m €23.0m €23.3m €23.4m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x3 Analyst x3 Analyst x3 Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Est @ 3.24% Est @ 2.27% Est @ 1.59% Est @ 1.12% Est @ 0.78%
Present Value (€, Millions) Discounted @ 5.9% €8.3 €13.4 €14.2 €16.2 €16.1 €15.7 €15.1 €14.5 €13.9 €13.2

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = €140m

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after the first stage. 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 (0.01%) 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 5.9%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = €23m× (1 + 0.01%) ÷ (5.9%– 0.01%) = €397m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= €397m÷ ( 1 + 5.9%)10= €223m

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 €363m. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of €21.3, the company appears quite good value at a 36% 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.

dcf
XTRA:GSC1 Discounted Cash Flow May 20th 2021

Important assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the 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 Gesco 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 5.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.252. 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:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/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 Gesco, we've put together three additional items you should further research:

  1. Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Gesco , and understanding this should be part of your investment process.
  2. Future Earnings: How does GSC1'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 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 German stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

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