Stock Analysis

Calculating The Fair Value Of DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE)

NYSE:DTE
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Key Insights

  • DTE Energy's estimated fair value is US$111 based on Dividend Discount Model
  • Current share price of US$111 suggests DTE Energy is potentially trading close to its fair value
  • The US$117 analyst price target for DTE is 5.7% more than our estimate of fair value

Does the January share price for DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

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 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.

Check out our latest analysis for DTE Energy

The Calculation

We have to calculate the value of DTE Energy slightly differently to other stocks because it is a integrated utilities company. Instead of using free cash flows, which are hard to estimate and often not reported by analysts in this industry, dividends per share (DPS) payments are used. This often underestimates the value of a stock, but it can still be good as a comparison to competitors. We use the Gordon Growth Model, which assumes dividend will grow into perpetuity at a rate that can be sustained. The dividend is expected to grow at an annual growth rate equal to the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield of 2.2%. We then discount this figure to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.2%. Compared to the current share price of US$111, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. 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.

Value Per Share = Expected Dividend Per Share / (Discount Rate - Perpetual Growth Rate)

= US$4.4 / (6.2% – 2.2%)

= US$111

dcf
NYSE:DTE Discounted Cash Flow January 8th 2024

The Assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual 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 DTE Energy 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 0.800. 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.

SWOT Analysis for DTE Energy

Strength
  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.
Weakness
  • Interest payments on debt are not well covered.
  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Integrated Utilities market.
  • Shareholders have been diluted in the past year.
Opportunity
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow for the next 4 years.
  • Good value based on P/E ratio compared to estimated Fair P/E ratio.
Threat
  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow.
  • Paying a dividend but company has no free cash flows.
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Next Steps:

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?" 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 DTE Energy, there are three additional items you should consider:

  1. Risks: Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for DTE Energy (of which 1 is a bit unpleasant!) you should know about.
  2. Future Earnings: How does DTE'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.

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

Find out whether DTE Energy 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.

View the Free Analysis

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.