In this article I am going to calculate the intrinsic value of Avast Plc (LON:AVST) by estimating the company’s future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. I will be using the discounted cash flows (DCF) model. Don’t get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model. Please also note that this article was written in January 2019 so be sure check out the updated calculation by following the link below.
Is AVST fairly valued?
I use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of varying growth rates for the company’s cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a more stable growth phase. To begin with we have to get estimates of the next five years of cash flows. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. I then discount the sum of these cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate.
5-year cash flow forecast
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||$303.28||$352.30||$415.71||$486.39||$564.21|
|Source||Analyst x4||Analyst x4||Est @ 18%, capped from 39.67%||Est @ 17%, capped from 39.67%||Est @ 16%, capped from 39.67%|
|Present Value Discounted @ 9.51%||$276.95||$293.78||$316.57||$338.23||$358.28|
Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US$1.6b
After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the intial 5-year period we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows beyond the first stage. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of the GDP. In this case I have used the 10-year government bond rate (1.2%). In the same way as with the 5-year ‘growth’ period, we discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 9.5%.
Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2023 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$564m × (1 + 1.2%) ÷ (9.5% – 1.2%) = US$6.9b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$6.9b ÷ ( 1 + 9.5%)5 = US$4.4b
The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the cash flows, which in this case is US$6.0b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. If the stock is an depositary receipt (represents a specified number of shares in a foreign corporation) or ADR then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of £4.8. Compared to the current share price of £2.82, the stock is quite good value at a 41% discount to what it is available for right now.
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 my inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. Because we are looking at Avast as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighed average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation I’ve used 9.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.944. This is derived from the Bottom-Up Beta method based on comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.
Whilst important, DCF calculation shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. What is the reason for the share price to differ from the intrinsic value? For AVST, there are three essential aspects you should further research:
- Financial Health: Does AVST 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.
- Future Earnings: How does AVST’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.
- Other High Quality Alternatives: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of AVST? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!
PS. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow for every stock on the LON every 6 hours. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.
To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.