Estimating The Fair Value Of Hubbell Incorporated (NYSE:HUBB)

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 18, 2021
NYSE:HUBB
Source: Shutterstock

How far off is Hubbell Incorporated (NYSE:HUBB) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.

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. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for Hubbell

The 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. To begin with, we have to get estimates of 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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$520.8m US$577.8m US$659.0m US$703.0m US$736.4m US$765.2m US$790.7m US$813.8m US$835.2m US$855.4m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x6 Analyst x6 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 4.75% Est @ 3.91% Est @ 3.33% Est @ 2.92% Est @ 2.63% Est @ 2.43%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.5% US$485 US$500 US$531 US$527 US$514 US$497 US$478 US$458 US$437 US$416

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$4.8b

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 (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 7.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$855m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (7.5%– 2.0%) = US$16b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$16b÷ ( 1 + 7.5%)10= US$7.7b

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$13b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$205, the company appears about fair value at a 11% 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.

dcf
NYSE:HUBB Discounted Cash Flow December 18th 2021

Important assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the 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 Hubbell 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 7.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.257. 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.

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. 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. For Hubbell, there are three additional items you should look at:

  1. Risks: For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Hubbell that you should be aware of before investing here.
  2. Future Earnings: How does HUBB'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.
  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. 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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