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Today I will be providing a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of AquaVenture Holdings Limited (NYSE:WAAS) as an investment opportunity by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today’s value. I will use the Discounted Cash Flows (DCF) model. Don’t get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model. Please also note that this article was written in February 2019 so be sure check out the updated calculation by following the link below.
What’s the value?
I use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of varying growth rates for the company’s cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a more stable growth phase. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next five years. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. The sum of these cash flows is then discounted to today’s value.
5-year cash flow forecast
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||$30.65||$16.40||$22.50||$29.40||$34.10|
|Source||Analyst x2||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Est @ 16%, capped from 17.46%|
|Present Value Discounted @ 8.55%||$28.24||$13.92||$17.59||$21.18||$22.63|
Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US$104m
We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after the five years. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at an annual growth rate equal to the 10-year government bond rate of 2.7%. We discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 8.5%.
Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2023 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$34m × (1 + 2.7%) ÷ (8.5% – 2.7%) = US$602m
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$602m ÷ ( 1 + 8.5%)5 = US$400m
The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the cash flows, which in this case is US$503m. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. If the stock is an depositary receipt (represents a specified number of shares in a foreign corporation) then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of $18.83. Relative to the current share price of $21.05, the stock is fair value, maybe slightly overvalued at the time of writing.
I’d like to point out that the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate and of course the actual cash flows. If you don’t agree with my result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. Because we are looking at AquaVenture Holdings as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighed average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation I’ve used 8.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.800. This is derived from the Bottom-Up Beta method based on comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.
Whilst important, DCF calculation shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. For WAAS, I’ve put together three important factors you should further examine:
- Financial Health: Does WAAS have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
- Future Earnings: How does WAAS’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 High Quality Alternatives: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of WAAS? 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 does a DCF calculation for every US stock every 6 hours, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.
To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at email@example.com.