Stock Analysis

Marks and Spencer Group plc's (LON:MKS) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 53% Above Its Share Price

  •  Updated
LSE:MKS
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How far off is Marks and Spencer Group plc (LON:MKS) 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. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

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 want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the rationale behind this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model.

See our latest analysis for Marks and Spencer Group

Is Marks and Spencer Group fairly valued?

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.

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

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032
Levered FCF (£, Millions) UK£189.7m UK£289.7m UK£301.6m UK£266.8m UK£252.5m UK£244.3m UK£239.4m UK£236.7m UK£235.5m UK£235.3m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x7 Analyst x8 Analyst x8 Analyst x4 Analyst x2 Est @ -3.26% Est @ -2% Est @ -1.12% Est @ -0.51% Est @ -0.08%
Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 6.2% UK£179 UK£257 UK£252 UK£210 UK£187 UK£171 UK£157 UK£147 UK£137 UK£129

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£1.8b

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 (0.9%) 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 6.2%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£235m× (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (6.2%– 0.9%) = UK£4.5b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£4.5b÷ ( 1 + 6.2%)10= UK£2.5b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is UK£4.3b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of UK£1.4, the company appears quite undervalued at a 35% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Valuations are imprecise instruments though, rather like a telescope - move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Do keep this in mind.

dcf
LSE:MKS Discounted Cash Flow July 21st 2022

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 Marks and Spencer 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 6.2%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.082. 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. 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 Marks and Spencer Group, there are three additional elements you should assess:

  1. Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Marks and Spencer Group , and understanding this should be part of your investment process.
  2. Future Earnings: How does MKS'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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Marks and Spencer Group is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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About LSE:MKS

Marks and Spencer Group

Marks and Spencer Group plc operates various retail stores.

The Snowflake is a visual investment summary with the score of each axis being calculated by 6 checks in 5 areas.

Analysis AreaScore (0-6)
Valuation4
Future Growth1
Past Performance5
Financial Health4
Dividends0

Read more about these checks in the individual report sections or in our analysis model.

Solid track record and good value.