Bentley Systems, Incorporated's (NASDAQ:BSY) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 24% Below Its Share Price

Published
May 15, 2022
NasdaqGS:BSY
Source: Shutterstock

How far off is Bentley Systems, Incorporated (NASDAQ:BSY) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the rationale behind this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model.

See our latest analysis for Bentley Systems

The method

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. 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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, 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$309.9m US$362.3m US$372.0m US$380.5m US$388.7m US$396.9m US$405.0m US$413.1m US$421.3m US$429.6m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x4 Analyst x4 Analyst x1 Est @ 2.28% Est @ 2.17% Est @ 2.1% Est @ 2.04% Est @ 2.01% Est @ 1.98% Est @ 1.96%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.6% US$291 US$319 US$307 US$294 US$282 US$270 US$259 US$247 US$237 US$226

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$2.7b

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 1.9%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.6%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$430m× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (6.6%– 1.9%) = US$9.3b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$9.3b÷ ( 1 + 6.6%)10= US$4.9b

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$7.6b. 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$32.1, the company appears potentially 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 May 15th 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. 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 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 6.6%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.108. 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:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. 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. What is the reason for the share price exceeding the intrinsic value? For Bentley Systems, we've put together three fundamental items you should further examine:

  1. Risks: Every company has them, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for Bentley Systems (of which 1 is a bit unpleasant!) you should know about.
  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. 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.

Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.

About NasdaqGS:BSY

Bentley Systems

Bentley Systems, Incorporated, together with its subsidiaries, provides infrastructure engineering software solutions in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific.

High growth potential and overvalued.