In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc (LON:SPX) by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.
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.
Step By Step Through The Calculation
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. 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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:
10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast
|Levered FCF (£, Millions)||UK£245.4m||UK£273.5m||UK£293.3m||UK£309.0m||UK£321.4m||UK£331.3m||UK£339.4m||UK£346.2m||UK£352.0m||UK£357.1m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x4||Analyst x4||Est @ 7.24%||Est @ 5.35%||Est @ 4.02%||Est @ 3.09%||Est @ 2.44%||Est @ 1.99%||Est @ 1.67%||Est @ 1.45%|
|Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 5.8%||UK£232||UK£244||UK£247||UK£246||UK£242||UK£236||UK£228||UK£220||UK£211||UK£202|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£2.3b
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 0.9%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 5.8%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£357m× (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (5.8%– 0.9%) = UK£7.3b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£7.3b÷ ( 1 + 5.8%)10= UK£4.1b
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£6.5b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of UK£111, the company appears slightly overvalued at the time of writing. The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it is better to view this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last cent.
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. 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 Spirax-Sarco Engineering 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 5.8%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.017. 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.
Whilst important, the DCF calculation 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. Why is the intrinsic value lower than the current share price? For Spirax-Sarco Engineering, we've put together three important aspects you should explore:
- Financial Health: Does SPX 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.
- Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for SPX's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
- 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 British 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.