Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Vobile Group Limited (HKG:3738) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.
Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.
What's the estimated valuation?
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 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.
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) estimate
|Levered FCF (HK$, Millions)||HK$150.8m||HK$253.0m||HK$336.7m||HK$416.2m||HK$486.8m||HK$546.7m||HK$596.3m||HK$636.8m||HK$669.9m||HK$697.2m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x2||Analyst x2||Est @ 33.08%||Est @ 23.6%||Est @ 16.96%||Est @ 12.32%||Est @ 9.07%||Est @ 6.79%||Est @ 5.2%||Est @ 4.08%|
|Present Value (HK$, Millions) Discounted @ 6.3%||HK$142||HK$224||HK$280||HK$325||HK$358||HK$378||HK$388||HK$389||HK$385||HK$377|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = HK$3.2b
After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the initial 10-year period, we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all future cash flows beyond 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 (1.5%) 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 6.3%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = HK$697m× (1 + 1.5%) ÷ (6.3%– 1.5%) = HK$15b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= HK$15b÷ ( 1 + 6.3%)10= HK$7.8b
The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is HK$11b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of HK$6.8, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.
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 Vobile 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 6.3%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.996. 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.
Although the valuation of a company is important, it 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. For Vobile Group, we've put together three further aspects you should assess:
- Risks: Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Vobile Group you should know about.
- Future Earnings: How does 3738'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 Solid Businesses: Low debt, high returns on equity and good past performance are fundamental to a strong business. Why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals to see if there are other companies you may not have considered!
PS. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the SEHK every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.