Estimating The Fair Value Of Pinduoduo Inc. (NASDAQ:PDD)

Published
June 04, 2022
NasdaqGS:PDD
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Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Pinduoduo Inc. (NASDAQ:PDD) as an investment opportunity 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.

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for Pinduoduo

Crunching the numbers

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. 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.

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) estimate

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF (CN¥, Millions) CN¥22.5b CN¥33.3b CN¥42.5b CN¥43.7b CN¥30.0b CN¥29.7b CN¥29.7b CN¥29.8b CN¥30.1b CN¥30.4b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x9 Analyst x11 Analyst x9 Analyst x3 Analyst x1 Est @ -1.02% Est @ -0.14% Est @ 0.48% Est @ 0.91% Est @ 1.21%
Present Value (CN¥, Millions) Discounted @ 7.2% CN¥21.0k CN¥29.0k CN¥34.5k CN¥33.1k CN¥21.2k CN¥19.6k CN¥18.3k CN¥17.1k CN¥16.1k CN¥15.2k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CN¥225b

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the initial 10-year period, we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all future cash flows beyond the first stage. 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 1.9%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 7.2%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CN¥30b× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (7.2%– 1.9%) = CN¥591b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CN¥591b÷ ( 1 + 7.2%)10= CN¥296b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is CN¥521b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$50.9, the company appears about fair value at a 18% 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
NasdaqGS:PDD Discounted Cash Flow June 4th 2022

Important 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 Pinduoduo 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 7.2%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.062. 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:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. For Pinduoduo, we've put together three additional factors you should consider:

  1. Risks: Case in point, we've spotted 1 warning sign for Pinduoduo you should be aware of.
  2. Future Earnings: How does PDD'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 NASDAQGS every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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About NasdaqGS:PDD

Pinduoduo

Pinduoduo Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates an e-commerce platform in the People's Republic of China.

The Snowflake is a visual investment summary with the score of each axis being calculated by 6 checks in 5 areas.

Analysis AreaScore (0-6)
Valuation3
Future Growth4
Past Performance3
Financial Health5
Dividends0

Read more about these checks in the individual report sections or in our analysis model.

Excellent balance sheet with reasonable growth potential.