In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of ACC Limited (NSE:ACC) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.
Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the rationale behind this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model.
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. 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.
Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, so we need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:
10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate
|Levered FCF (₹, Millions)||₹13.0b||₹22.3b||₹27.4b||₹32.3b||₹37.0b||₹41.5b||₹46.0b||₹50.3b||₹54.7b||₹59.2b|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x5||Analyst x5||Est @ 22.62%||Est @ 17.89%||Est @ 14.57%||Est @ 12.25%||Est @ 10.63%||Est @ 9.49%||Est @ 8.7%||Est @ 8.14%|
|Present Value (₹, Millions) Discounted @ 12%||₹11.6k||₹17.7k||₹19.3k||₹20.3k||₹20.7k||₹20.7k||₹20.4k||₹19.9k||₹19.2k||₹18.5k|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = ₹188b
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. 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 6.8%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 12%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = ₹59b× (1 + 6.8%) ÷ (12%– 6.8%) = ₹1.2t
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= ₹1.2t÷ ( 1 + 12%)10= ₹361b
The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is ₹549b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of ₹2.4k, the company appears about fair value at a 20% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.
Now 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 ACC 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 0.800. 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. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. For ACC, we've compiled three relevant factors you should further examine:
- Risks: Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for ACC you should know about.
- Future Earnings: How does ACC'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: 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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the NSEI 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.
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