Stock Analysis

Are Investors Undervaluing Greencore Group plc (LON:GNC) By 44%?

  •  Updated
LSE:GNC
Source: Shutterstock

Does the August share price for Greencore Group plc (LON:GNC) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. 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 Greencore Group

The Method

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. 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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, 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

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032
Levered FCF (£, Millions) UK£54.9m UK£67.1m UK£44.0m UK£41.1m UK£39.3m UK£38.2m UK£37.6m UK£37.3m UK£37.1m UK£37.2m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Est @ -6.6% Est @ -4.34% Est @ -2.76% Est @ -1.65% Est @ -0.88% Est @ -0.34% Est @ 0.04%
Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 5.3% UK£52.2 UK£60.5 UK£37.7 UK£33.5 UK£30.4 UK£28.1 UK£26.2 UK£24.7 UK£23.4 UK£22.2

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£338m

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 5.3%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£37m× (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (5.3%– 0.9%) = UK£865m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£865m÷ ( 1 + 5.3%)10= UK£518m

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£856m. 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£0.9, the company appears quite undervalued at a 44% 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:GNC Discounted Cash Flow August 23rd 2022

The Assumptions

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 Greencore 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 5.3%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.853. 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.

Moving On:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess for 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. 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 higher than the current share price? For Greencore Group, we've compiled three further factors you should consider:

  1. Risks: To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Greencore Group (including 1 which is potentially serious) .
  2. Future Earnings: How does GNC'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 Greencore 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.

View the Free Analysis

About LSE:GNC

Greencore Group

Greencore Group plc, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of convenience food products primarily in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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)
Valuation5
Future Growth3
Past Performance3
Financial Health5
Dividends0

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

Undervalued with excellent balance sheet.