Stock Analysis

# Is There An Opportunity With Lectra SA's (EPA:LSS) 45% Undervaluation?

How far off is Lectra SA (EPA:LSS) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced 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. 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 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 Lectra

### 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 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, 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

 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 Levered FCF (€, Millions) €74.1m €88.3m €97.9m €114.2m €121.0m €125.6m €129.1m €131.7m €133.7m €135.2m Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x3 Analyst x4 Analyst x3 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 3.82% Est @ 2.76% Est @ 2.02% Est @ 1.51% Est @ 1.14% Present Value (€, Millions) Discounted @ 5.3% €70.4 €79.6 €83.8 €92.8 €93.4 €92.1 €89.8 €87.0 €83.9 €80.5

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = €853m

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after the first stage. 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 0.3%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 5.3%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = €135m× (1 + 0.3%) ÷ (5.3%– 0.3%) = €2.7b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= €2.7b÷ ( 1 + 5.3%)10= €1.6b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is €2.5b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of €35.7, the company appears quite undervalued at a 45% 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.

### Important assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the 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 Lectra 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 5.3%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.061. 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 shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. 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 Lectra, there are three additional elements you should assess:

1. Financial Health: Does LSS have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
2. Future Earnings: How does LSS'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 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 French stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

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