Estimating The Fair Value Of EMIS Group plc (LON:EMIS)

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 13, 2022
AIM:EMIS
Source: Shutterstock

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of EMIS Group plc (LON:EMIS) as an investment opportunity by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

See our latest analysis for EMIS Group

The model

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.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, so we discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF (£, Millions) UK£38.0m UK£38.7m UK£39.2m UK£39.7m UK£40.1m UK£40.5m UK£40.9m UK£41.3m UK£41.7m UK£42.1m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x3 Analyst x3 Est @ 1.36% Est @ 1.22% Est @ 1.13% Est @ 1.06% Est @ 1.01% Est @ 0.98% Est @ 0.95% Est @ 0.94%
Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 5.1% UK£36.2 UK£35.0 UK£33.7 UK£32.5 UK£31.3 UK£30.0 UK£28.9 UK£27.7 UK£26.6 UK£25.6

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£307m

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 5.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£42m× (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (5.1%– 0.9%) = UK£1.0b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£1.0b÷ ( 1 + 5.1%)10= UK£612m

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£919m. 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£12.6, the company appears about fair value at a 14% 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
AIM:EMIS Discounted Cash Flow January 13th 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. 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 EMIS 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 0.862. 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. 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. 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. For EMIS Group, we've put together three further aspects you should explore:

  1. Financial Health: Does EMIS 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. Future Earnings: How does EMIS'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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