The projected fair value for Coles Group is AU$17.69 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity
Current share price of AU$15.65 suggests Coles Group is potentially trading close to its fair value
Our fair value estimate is 6.6% higher than Coles Group's analyst price target of AU$16.59
How far off is Coles Group Limited (ASX:COL) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.
We generally believe that a company's value is the present value of all of the cash it will generate in the future. However, a DCF is just one valuation metric among many, and it is not without flaws. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.
What's The Estimated Valuation?
We're using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company's growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have a stable growth rate. To begin with, we have to get estimates of the next ten years of cash flows. Where possible we use analyst estimates, but when these aren't available we extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the last estimate or reported value. We assume companies with shrinking free cash flow will slow their rate of shrinkage, and that companies with growing free cash flow will see their growth rate slow, over this period. We do this to reflect that growth tends to slow more in the early years than it does in later years.
Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:
10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate
Levered FCF (A$, Millions)
Growth Rate Estimate Source
Est @ 1.29%
Est @ 1.51%
Est @ 1.66%
Est @ 1.76%
Est @ 1.84%
Present Value (A$, Millions) Discounted @ 6.2%
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = AU$7.9b
We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at a future annual growth rate equal to the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield of 2.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.2%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = AU$1.2b× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (6.2%– 2.0%) = AU$29b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= AU$29b÷ ( 1 + 6.2%)10= AU$16b
The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is AU$24b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of AU$15.7, the company appears about fair value at a 12% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.
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 Coles Group 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 0.837. 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 Coles Group
Debt is not viewed as a risk.
Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.
Earnings declined over the past year.
Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Consumer Retailing market.
Annual earnings are forecast to grow for the next 3 years.
Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.
Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the Australian market.
Whilst important, the DCF calculation 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. 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 Coles Group, we've put together three fundamental aspects you should explore:
Risks: For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Coles Group that you should be aware of before investing here.
Future Earnings: How does COL'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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the ASX every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks 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.