An Intrinsic Calculation For Meritor, Inc. (NYSE:MTOR) Suggests It's 45% Undervalued

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 22, 2021
NYSE:MTOR
Source: Shutterstock

Does the November share price for Meritor, Inc. (NYSE:MTOR) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. 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. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for Meritor

The model

We use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of growth rates for the company's cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a lower growth phase. 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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$243.0m US$237.0m US$234.6m US$234.3m US$235.4m US$237.6m US$240.6m US$244.1m US$248.0m US$252.3m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ -1.02% Est @ -0.13% Est @ 0.5% Est @ 0.94% Est @ 1.24% Est @ 1.46% Est @ 1.61% Est @ 1.71%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.8% US$225 US$204 US$187 US$174 US$162 US$152 US$142 US$134 US$126 US$119

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$1.6b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 2.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 7.8%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$252m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (7.8%– 2.0%) = US$4.4b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$4.4b÷ ( 1 + 7.8%)10= US$2.1b

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$3.7b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$28.9, the company appears quite undervalued at a 45% 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.

dcf
NYSE:MTOR Discounted Cash Flow November 23rd 2021

The assumptions

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 Meritor 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 7.8%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.330. 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.

Next Steps:

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. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Meritor, we've put together three important aspects you should look at:

  1. Risks: Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Meritor (of which 1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) you should know about.
  2. Future Earnings: How does MTOR'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. 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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