Stock Analysis

A Look At The Fair Value Of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT)

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NYSE:HLT
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Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) as an investment opportunity by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

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.

Check out our latest analysis for Hilton Worldwide Holdings

The calculation

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. 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 discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$1.18b US$1.89b US$1.75b US$2.14b US$2.34b US$2.48b US$2.60b US$2.70b US$2.79b US$2.87b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x6 Analyst x4 Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Est @ 6.12% Est @ 4.86% Est @ 3.98% Est @ 3.36% Est @ 2.93%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.1% US$1.1k US$1.6k US$1.4k US$1.6k US$1.7k US$1.6k US$1.6k US$1.6k US$1.5k US$1.4k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$15b

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after 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 (1.9%) 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 7.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$2.9b× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (7.1%– 1.9%) = US$57b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$57b÷ ( 1 + 7.1%)10= US$29b

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next ten years plus the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US$44b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$151, the company appears about fair value at a 3.7% 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:HLT Discounted Cash Flow March 23rd 2022

The 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 Hilton Worldwide 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 7.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.217. 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. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. For Hilton Worldwide Holdings, there are three fundamental elements you should further research:

  1. Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Hilton Worldwide Holdings (at least 1 which shouldn't be ignored) , and understanding these should be part of your investment process.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for HLT'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.

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