Stock Analysis

Calculating The Intrinsic Value Of The Trade Desk, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTD)

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NasdaqGM:TTD
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Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of The Trade Desk, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTD) by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

We would caution that there are many ways of valuing a company and, like the DCF, each technique has advantages and disadvantages in certain scenarios. 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 Trade Desk

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. 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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$532.3m US$752.3m US$1.06b US$1.28b US$1.47b US$1.64b US$1.77b US$1.88b US$1.98b US$2.06b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x4 Analyst x3 Analyst x2 Est @ 20.46% Est @ 14.91% Est @ 11.02% Est @ 8.29% Est @ 6.39% Est @ 5.05% Est @ 4.12%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.2% US$501 US$667 US$889 US$1.0k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.2k US$1.2k US$1.2k US$1.1k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$9.9b

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after 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 6.2%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$2.1b× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (6.2%– 1.9%) = US$50b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$50b÷ ( 1 + 6.2%)10= US$27b

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$37b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$62.7, the company appears about fair value at a 18% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Valuations are imprecise instruments though, rather like a telescope - move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Do keep this in mind.

dcf
NasdaqGM:TTD Discounted Cash Flow September 1st 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 Trade Desk 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 6.2%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.998. 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. 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. 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. For Trade Desk, there are three fundamental elements you should further research:

  1. Risks: Case in point, we've spotted 3 warning signs for Trade Desk you should be aware of.
  2. Future Earnings: How does TTD'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. 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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