Are Bentley Systems, Incorporated (NASDAQ:BSY) Investors Paying Above The Intrinsic Value?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 14, 2022
NasdaqGS:BSY
Source: Shutterstock

Does the January share price for Bentley Systems, Incorporated (NASDAQ:BSY) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

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 Bentley Systems

Step by step through the calculation

We're using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company's growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have a stable growth rate. 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 discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$329.2m US$372.7m US$404.6m US$431.3m US$453.7m US$472.9m US$489.6m US$504.7m US$518.5m US$531.5m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x5 Analyst x4 Est @ 8.57% Est @ 6.59% Est @ 5.2% Est @ 4.23% Est @ 3.55% Est @ 3.07% Est @ 2.74% Est @ 2.5%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.5% US$309 US$329 US$335 US$336 US$332 US$325 US$316 US$306 US$295 US$284

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$3.2b

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after 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 2.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$531m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (6.5%– 2.0%) = US$12b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$12b÷ ( 1 + 6.5%)10= US$6.4b

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$9.6b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$40.4, the company appears slightly overvalued at the time of writing. 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:BSY Discounted Cash Flow January 14th 2022

The 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 Bentley Systems 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 6.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.030. 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:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for 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 instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. Can we work out why the company is trading at a premium to intrinsic value? For Bentley Systems, we've put together three important factors you should consider:

  1. Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with Bentley Systems , and understanding these should be part of your investment process.
  2. Future Earnings: How does BSY'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. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every American stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

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