Stock Analysis

Capita plc's (LON:CPI) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 73% Above Its Share Price

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LSE:CPI
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Does the June share price for Capita plc (LON:CPI) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

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.

View our latest analysis for Capita

The method

We're using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company's growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have a stable growth rate. To start off with, we need to estimate 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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Levered FCF (£, Millions) -UK£254.9m UK£50.7m UK£69.9m UK£173.2m UK£179.8m UK£184.6m UK£188.6m UK£192.0m UK£194.9m UK£197.5m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 2.69% Est @ 2.16% Est @ 1.79% Est @ 1.53% Est @ 1.34%
Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 12% -UK£229 UK£40.7 UK£50.3 UK£112 UK£104 UK£95.9 UK£87.8 UK£80.1 UK£72.9 UK£66.3

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£481m

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 12%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£198m× (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (12%– 0.9%) = UK£1.9b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£1.9b÷ ( 1 + 12%)10= UK£630m

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£1.1b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£0.4, the company appears quite good value at a 42% 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:CPI Discounted Cash Flow June 28th 2021

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 Capita 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 12%, which is based on a levered beta of 2.000. 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:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or overvalued. 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 Capita, we've put together three essential aspects you should further research:

  1. Risks: You should be aware of the 1 warning sign for Capita we've uncovered before considering an investment in the company.
  2. Future Earnings: How does CPI'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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