Is Hostess Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:TWNK) Trading At A 36% Discount?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 27, 2021
NasdaqCM:TWNK
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How far off is Hostess Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:TWNK) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. 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. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

Check out our latest analysis for Hostess Brands

The calculation

We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second 'steady growth' period. 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, so we need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$165.8m US$165.3m US$160.0m US$171.0m US$172.7m US$175.0m US$177.6m US$180.5m US$183.7m US$187.0m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x5 Analyst x3 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 1.02% Est @ 1.3% Est @ 1.5% Est @ 1.64% Est @ 1.73% Est @ 1.8%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 5.6% US$157 US$148 US$136 US$138 US$132 US$126 US$121 US$117 US$113 US$108

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

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 5.6%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$187m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (5.6%– 2.0%) = US$5.2b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$5.2b÷ ( 1 + 5.6%)10= US$3.0b

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$4.3b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$20.0, the company appears quite undervalued at a 36% 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
NasdaqCM:TWNK Discounted Cash Flow December 27th 2021

Important assumptions

We would point out that 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 5.6%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.829. 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. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Hostess Brands, we've put together three important aspects you should assess:

  1. Risks: For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Hostess Brands (1 is concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
  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 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 NASDAQCM every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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