Stock Analysis

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

NYSE:DTE
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Key Insights

  • DTE Energy's estimated fair value is US$106 based on Dividend Discount Model
  • With US$103 share price, DTE Energy appears to be trading close to its estimated fair value
  • Analyst price target for DTE is US$125, which is 18% above our fair value estimate

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE) by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

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 still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for DTE Energy

The Model

We have to calculate the value of DTE Energy slightly differently to other stocks because it is a integrated utilities company. In this approach dividends per share (DPS) are used, as free cash flow is difficult to estimate and often not reported by analysts. 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. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of a company's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In this case we used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (2.2%). The expected dividend per share is then discounted to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.2%. Relative to the current share price of US$103, the company appears about fair value at a 2.7% 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.

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

= US$4.2 / (6.2% – 2.2%)

= US$106

dcf
NYSE:DTE Discounted Cash Flow September 1st 2023

Important Assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. You don't have to agree with these inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. 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.
  • Debt is well covered by earnings.
Weakness
  • 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 3 years.
  • Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.
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.

Moving On:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching 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 DTE Energy, there are three important items you should look at:

  1. Risks: Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for DTE Energy (of which 1 is potentially serious!) you should know about.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for DTE's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
  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 NYSE 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 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.

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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.