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Calculating The Fair Value Of Aurizon Holdings Limited (ASX:AZJ)

Lawrence Carr

How far off is Aurizon Holdings Limited (ASX:AZJ) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, I am going to take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today’s value. This is done using the Discounted Cash Flows (DCF) model. Don’t get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward. If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the basis for my calcs can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model. Please also note that this article was written in August 2018 so be sure check out the updated calculation by following the link below.

View our latest analysis for Aurizon Holdings

Step by step through the calculation

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. To start off with we need to estimate the next five years of cash flows. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. I then discount this to its value today and sum up the total to get the present value of these cash flows.

5-year cash flow estimate

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Levered FCF (A$, Millions) A$711.20 A$601.60 A$561.50 A$537.00 A$604.00
Source Analyst x5 Analyst x5 Analyst x4 Analyst x2 Analyst x1
Present Value Discounted @ 9.78% A$647.84 A$499.18 A$424.39 A$369.71 A$378.79

Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= AU$2.32b

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 the GDP. In this case I have used the 10-year government bond rate (2.8%). In the same way as with the 5-year ‘growth’ period, we discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 9.8%.

Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2022 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = AU$604.00m × (1 + 2.8%) ÷ (9.8% – 2.8%) = AU$8.86b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = AU$8.86b ÷ ( 1 + 9.8%)5 = AU$5.56b

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next five years and the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is AU$7.88b. 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 A$3.96. Compared to the current share price of A$4.46, the stock is fair value, maybe slightly overvalued and not available at a discount at this time.

ASX:AZJ Intrinsic Value Export August 14th 18

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 my result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. Because we are looking at Aurizon 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 9.8%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.970. 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.

Next Steps:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. For AZJ, I’ve compiled three key aspects you should further examine:

  1. Financial Health: Does AZJ 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.
  2. Future Earnings: How does AZJ’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: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of AZJ? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!

PS. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow for every stock on the ASX every 6 hours. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com.