Hostess Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:TWNK) Shares Could Be 41% Below Their Intrinsic Value Estimate

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 22, 2021
NasdaqCM:TWNK
Source: Shutterstock

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Hostess Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:TWNK) by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. Models like these may appear beyond the comprehension of a lay person, but they're fairly easy to follow.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

See our latest analysis for Hostess Brands

What's the estimated valuation?

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. 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.

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) forecast

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$167.2m US$169.0m US$160.0m US$171.0m US$172.2m US$174.1m US$176.4m US$179.1m US$182.2m US$185.4m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x4 Analyst x3 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 0.7% Est @ 1.08% Est @ 1.36% Est @ 1.55% Est @ 1.68% Est @ 1.77%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.1% US$158 US$150 US$134 US$135 US$128 US$122 US$117 US$112 US$107 US$103

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$1.3b

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 (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 6.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$185m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (6.1%– 2.0%) = US$4.6b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$4.6b÷ ( 1 + 6.1%)10= US$2.5b

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$3.8b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$17.2, the company appears quite undervalued at a 41% 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
NasdaqCM:TWNK Discounted Cash Flow September 23rd 2021

Important assumptions

Now 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 Hostess Brands 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 6.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.870. 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.

Moving On:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or overvalued. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For Hostess Brands, we've put together three fundamental aspects you should assess:

  1. Risks: For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Hostess Brands (1 is concerning) you should be aware of.
  2. Future Earnings: How does TWNK'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 Solid Businesses: Low debt, high returns on equity and good past performance are fundamental to a strong business. Why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals to see if there are other companies you may not have considered!

PS. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the NASDAQCM every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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