Stock Analysis

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

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NasdaqGS:PDD
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In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Pinduoduo Inc. (NASDAQ:PDD) by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back 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!

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.

View our latest analysis for Pinduoduo

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. 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, 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) estimate

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032
Levered FCF (CN¥, Millions) CN¥44.7b CN¥51.4b CN¥52.6b CN¥45.4b CN¥41.3b CN¥39.0b CN¥37.6b CN¥37.0b CN¥36.7b CN¥36.8b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x11 Analyst x10 Analyst x4 Analyst x2 Est @ -8.94% Est @ -5.67% Est @ -3.39% Est @ -1.79% Est @ -0.67% Est @ 0.11%
Present Value (CN¥, Millions) Discounted @ 7.1% CN¥41.7k CN¥44.8k CN¥42.8k CN¥34.4k CN¥29.3k CN¥25.8k CN¥23.2k CN¥21.3k CN¥19.8k CN¥18.5k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CN¥302b

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. 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)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CN¥37b× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (7.1%– 1.9%) = CN¥722b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CN¥722b÷ ( 1 + 7.1%)10= CN¥363b

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¥664b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$65.7, the company appears about fair value at a 13% 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
NasdaqGS:PDD Discounted Cash Flow September 18th 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 7.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.050. 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 is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. 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 Pinduoduo, we've put together three further items you should consider:

  1. Financial Health: Does PDD have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
  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 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 NASDAQGS every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Pinduoduo is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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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)
Valuation4
Future Growth4
Past Performance4
Financial Health5
Dividends0

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

Excellent balance sheet and good value.