Stock Analysis

Are Investors Undervaluing Allison Transmission Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ALSN) By 42%?

NYSE:ALSN
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Key Insights

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Allison Transmission Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ALSN) 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.

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.

View our latest analysis for Allison Transmission Holdings

The Method

We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second 'steady growth' period. 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, 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

2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$604.0m US$684.3m US$673.0m US$713.0m US$741.1m US$766.2m US$789.3m US$810.9m US$831.5m US$851.6m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x5 Analyst x3 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 3.94% Est @ 3.39% Est @ 3.01% Est @ 2.74% Est @ 2.55% Est @ 2.42%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 9.6% US$551 US$569 US$511 US$494 US$468 US$441 US$415 US$389 US$364 US$340

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$4.5b

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 2.1%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 9.6%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$852m× (1 + 2.1%) ÷ (9.6%– 2.1%) = US$12b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$12b÷ ( 1 + 9.6%)10= US$4.6b

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$9.2b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$58.0, 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
NYSE:ALSN Discounted Cash Flow July 13th 2023

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 Allison Transmission Holdings 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 9.6%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.266. 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.

SWOT Analysis for Allison Transmission Holdings

Strength
  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.
  • Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.
  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.
Weakness
  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Machinery market.
Opportunity
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow for the next 3 years.
  • Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.
Threat
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Looking Ahead:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching 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?" 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. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For Allison Transmission Holdings, there are three fundamental elements you should look at:

  1. Risks: We feel that you should assess the 1 warning sign for Allison Transmission Holdings we've flagged before making an investment in the company.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for ALSN's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
  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 American stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Allison Transmission Holdings is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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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.