Are Investors Undervaluing The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE:IPG) By 43%?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 18, 2021
NYSE:IPG
Source: Shutterstock

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE:IPG) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

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 Interpublic Group of Companies

Is Interpublic Group of Companies fairly valued?

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. 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 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$1.17b US$1.24b US$1.19b US$1.14b US$1.14b US$1.15b US$1.16b US$1.17b US$1.19b US$1.21b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x4 Analyst x4 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Est @ -0.17% Est @ 0.47% Est @ 0.91% Est @ 1.23% Est @ 1.45% Est @ 1.6%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.3% US$1.1k US$1.1k US$991 US$894 US$840 US$794 US$754 US$718 US$685 US$655

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$8.5b

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 6.3%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.2b× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (6.3%– 2.0%) = US$28b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$28b÷ ( 1 + 6.3%)10= US$15b

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$24b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$34.7, the company appears quite undervalued at a 43% 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:IPG Discounted Cash Flow November 19th 2021

Important assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual cash flows. If you don't agree with these result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the 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 Interpublic Group of Companies 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 6.3%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.991. 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:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" 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 Interpublic Group of Companies, we've put together three additional elements you should further research:

  1. Risks: To that end, you should be aware of the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Interpublic Group of Companies .
  2. Future Earnings: How does IPG'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 NYSE every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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