Stock Analysis

A Look At The Fair Value Of Intertek Group plc (LON:ITRK)

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LSE:ITRK
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In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Intertek Group plc (LON:ITRK) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Intertek Group

Crunching the numbers

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. 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

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF (£, Millions) UK£362.9m UK£394.7m UK£397.0m UK£392.0m UK£389.9m UK£389.4m UK£390.2m UK£391.7m UK£393.9m UK£396.5m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x10 Analyst x10 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Est @ -0.55% Est @ -0.11% Est @ 0.19% Est @ 0.4% Est @ 0.55% Est @ 0.66%
Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 5.5% UK£344 UK£355 UK£338 UK£317 UK£299 UK£283 UK£269 UK£256 UK£244 UK£233

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£2.9b

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. 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 5.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£396m× (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (5.5%– 0.9%) = UK£8.8b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£8.8b÷ ( 1 + 5.5%)10= UK£5.1b

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£8.1b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£57.5, the company appears around fair value 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.

dcf
LSE:ITRK Discounted Cash Flow December 14th 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. If you don't agree with these result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the 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 Intertek 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 5.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.934. 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:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess 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. For Intertek Group, we've compiled three additional aspects you should further research:

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

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