Are Investors Undervaluing Hilton Food Group plc (LON:HFG) By 46%?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 12, 2022
LSE:HFG
Source: Shutterstock

How far off is Hilton Food Group plc (LON:HFG) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

View our latest analysis for Hilton Food Group

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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, so we discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF (£, Millions) UK£61.0m UK£67.8m UK£72.6m UK£76.4m UK£79.4m UK£81.8m UK£83.7m UK£85.4m UK£86.7m UK£88.0m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x3 Analyst x3 Est @ 7.07% Est @ 5.22% Est @ 3.93% Est @ 3.02% Est @ 2.38% Est @ 1.94% Est @ 1.63% Est @ 1.41%
Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 5.1% UK£58.0 UK£61.3 UK£62.5 UK£62.5 UK£61.8 UK£60.6 UK£59.0 UK£57.2 UK£55.3 UK£53.3

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£591m

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after 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 5.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£88m× (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (5.1%– 0.9%) = UK£2.1b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£2.1b÷ ( 1 + 5.1%)10= UK£1.3b

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£1.9b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£11.2, the company appears quite undervalued at a 46% 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:HFG Discounted Cash Flow January 12th 2022

The 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 Hilton Food 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 5.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.866. 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:

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. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For Hilton Food Group, there are three pertinent items you should assess:

  1. Risks: We feel that you should assess the 3 warning signs for Hilton Food Group we've flagged before making an investment in the company.
  2. Future Earnings: How does HFG'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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