Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Dana Incorporated (NYSE:DAN) as an investment opportunity by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. 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. 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.
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) estimate
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||US$349.3m||US$387.0m||US$422.2m||US$434.1m||US$444.5m||US$454.5m||US$464.5m||US$474.4m||US$484.3m||US$494.2m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x6||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Est @ 2.39%||Est @ 2.27%||Est @ 2.19%||Est @ 2.13%||Est @ 2.09%||Est @ 2.06%|
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 11%||US$313||US$312||US$305||US$282||US$259||US$237||US$218||US$200||US$183||US$167|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$2.5b
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 (2.0%) 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 11%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$494m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (11%– 2.0%) = US$5.3b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$5.3b÷ ( 1 + 11%)10= US$1.8b
The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is US$4.3b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$23.0, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 22% 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.
Now 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 Dana 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 11%, 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.
Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. 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. 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Dana, we've put together three pertinent aspects you should consider:
- Risks: To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Dana (including 1 which is significant) .
- Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for DAN's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
- 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 NYSE 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. 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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