How far off is AAON, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAON) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Models like these may appear beyond the comprehension of a lay person, but they're fairly easy to follow.
We generally believe that a company's value is the present value of all of the cash it will generate in the future. However, a DCF is just one valuation metric among many, and it is not without flaws. 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'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. Seeing as no analyst estimates of free cash flow are available to us, we have extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the company's last 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) forecast
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||US$120.7m||US$169.5m||US$218.7m||US$264.5m||US$305.1m||US$339.9m||US$369.3m||US$394.1m||US$415.3m||US$433.7m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Est @ 56.88%||Est @ 40.48%||Est @ 29%||Est @ 20.97%||Est @ 15.34%||Est @ 11.41%||Est @ 8.65%||Est @ 6.72%||Est @ 5.37%||Est @ 4.43%|
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 9.0%||US$111||US$143||US$169||US$187||US$198||US$203||US$202||US$198||US$191||US$183|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$1.8b
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 (2.2%) 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 9.0%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$434m× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (9.0%– 2.2%) = US$6.5b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$6.5b÷ ( 1 + 9.0%)10= US$2.8b
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$4.6b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$61.2, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 30% discount to where the stock price trades currently. The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it is better to view this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last cent.
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 AAON 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 9.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.127. 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. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/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. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For AAON, we've put together three pertinent aspects you should explore:
- Risks: For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for AAON (1 is a bit concerning) you should be aware of.
- Future Earnings: How does AAON'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. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every American stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock 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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