Stock Analysis

Are Investors Undervaluing Babcock International Group PLC (LON:BAB) By 50%?

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LSE:BAB
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How far off is Babcock International Group PLC (LON:BAB) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. 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 Babcock International Group

Crunching the numbers

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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Levered FCF (£, Millions) UK£19.4m -UK£25.8m UK£69.3m UK£143.0m UK£207.2m UK£272.9m UK£334.3m UK£387.8m UK£432.3m UK£468.3m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x6 Analyst x6 Analyst x6 Analyst x2 Est @ 44.91% Est @ 31.71% Est @ 22.48% Est @ 16.01% Est @ 11.48% Est @ 8.31%
Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 10% UK£17.6 -UK£21.2 UK£51.6 UK£96.5 UK£127 UK£151 UK£168 UK£177 UK£178 UK£175

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£1.1b

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the initial 10-year period, we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all future cash flows beyond 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 (0.9%) 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 10%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£468m× (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (10%– 0.9%) = UK£5.0b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£5.0b÷ ( 1 + 10%)10= UK£1.9b

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 UK£3.0b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£3.0, the company appears quite good value at a 50% 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
LSE:BAB Discounted Cash Flow May 31st 2021

The assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual 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 Babcock International 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 10%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.772. 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.

Looking Ahead:

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. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For Babcock International Group, we've compiled three relevant items you should explore:

  1. Risks: Case in point, we've spotted 1 warning sign for Babcock International Group you should be aware of.
  2. Future Earnings: How does BAB'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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the LSE every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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