Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Legend Holdings Corporation (HKG:3396) as an investment opportunity 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. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.
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. 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 Legend Holdings
Is Legend Holdings Fairly Valued?
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. To begin with, we have to get estimates of the next ten years of cash flows. Seeing as no analyst estimates of free cash flow are available to us, we have extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the company's last 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 need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:
10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate
|Levered FCF (CN¥, Millions)||CN¥5.11b||CN¥3.00b||CN¥2.15b||CN¥1.73b||CN¥1.51b||CN¥1.38b||CN¥1.30b||CN¥1.25b||CN¥1.23b||CN¥1.22b|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Est @ -59.53%||Est @ -41.2%||Est @ -28.38%||Est @ -19.4%||Est @ -13.11%||Est @ -8.72%||Est @ -5.64%||Est @ -3.48%||Est @ -1.97%||Est @ -0.91%|
|Present Value (CN¥, Millions) Discounted @ 11%||CN¥4.6k||CN¥2.4k||CN¥1.6k||CN¥1.1k||CN¥877||CN¥718||CN¥608||CN¥527||CN¥464||CN¥412|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CN¥13b
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 (1.6%) 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 11%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CN¥1.2b× (1 + 1.6%) ÷ (11%– 1.6%) = CN¥13b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CN¥13b÷ ( 1 + 11%)10= CN¥4.2b
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 CN¥18b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of HK$8.7, the company appears around fair value 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.SEHK:3396 Discounted Cash Flow August 2nd 2022
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 Legend Holdings 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 11%, which is based on a levered beta of 2.000. 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.
Although the valuation of a company is important, it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. 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 Legend Holdings, there are three further factors you should explore:
- Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Legend Holdings (at least 1 which is concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
- Future Earnings: How does 3396'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.
- 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 Hong Kong stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.
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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.