Stock Analysis

Is There An Opportunity With Harbour Energy plc's (LON:HBR) 37% Undervaluation?

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LSE:HBR
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Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Harbour Energy plc (LON:HBR) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Models like these may appear beyond the comprehension of a lay person, but they're fairly easy to follow.

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.

View our latest analysis for Harbour Energy

The model

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, 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) forecast

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$1.02b US$807.3m US$648.0m US$635.0m US$628.5m US$625.7m US$625.4m US$627.0m US$629.8m US$633.6m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x6 Analyst x4 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ -1.03% Est @ -0.44% Est @ -0.04% Est @ 0.25% Est @ 0.45% Est @ 0.59%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 9.2% US$934 US$676 US$497 US$446 US$404 US$368 US$337 US$309 US$284 US$262

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$4.5b

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 9.2%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$634m× (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (9.2%– 0.9%) = US$7.7b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$7.7b÷ ( 1 + 9.2%)10= US$3.2b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is US$7.7b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of UK£3.8, the company appears quite good value at a 37% discount to where the stock price trades currently. 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:HBR Discounted Cash Flow September 15th 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. 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 Harbour Energy 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 9.2%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.568. 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. 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 Harbour Energy, there are three additional elements you should assess:

  1. Financial Health: Does HBR 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. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for HBR's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
  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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