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Calculating The Fair Value Of Veritiv Corporation (NYSE:VRTV)

In this article I am going to calculate the intrinsic value of Veritiv Corporation (NYSE:VRTV) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. This is done using the discounted cash flows (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple! If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the basis for my calcs can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model. If you are reading this and its not November 2018 then I highly recommend you check out the latest calculation for Veritiv by following the link below.

The method

I use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of varying growth rates for the company’s cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a more stable growth phase. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next five years. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. I then discount the sum of these cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate.

5-year cash flow forecast

 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 Levered FCF (\$, Millions) \$33.80 \$60.50 \$64.98 \$69.78 \$74.95 Source Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 7.4% Est @ 7.4% Est @ 7.4% Present Value Discounted @ 17.05% \$28.88 \$44.16 \$40.52 \$37.18 \$34.11

Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US\$185m

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after the five years. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at an annual growth rate equal to the 10-year government bond rate of 2.9%. We discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 17.1%.

Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2022 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US\$75m × (1 + 2.9%) ÷ (17.1% – 2.9%) = US\$547m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US\$547m ÷ ( 1 + 17.1%)5 = US\$249m

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next five years and the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US\$434m. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. If the stock is an depositary receipt (represents a specified number of shares in a foreign corporation) then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of \$27.38. Relative to the current share price of \$30.43, the stock is fair value, maybe slightly overvalued at the time of writing.

The assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. You don’t have to agree with my inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. Because we are looking at Veritiv as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighed average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation I’ve used 17.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 2. This is derived from the Bottom-Up Beta method based on comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.

Next Steps:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. For VRTV, I’ve compiled three pertinent aspects you should look at:

1. Financial Health: Does VRTV have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
2. Future Earnings: How does VRTV’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: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of VRTV? 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 does a DCF calculation for every US stock every 6 hours, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.