Today I will be providing a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of The Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX) as an investment opportunity by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today’s value. This is done using the Discounted Cash Flows (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple! 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 October 2018 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. 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 the sum of these cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate.
5-year cash flow estimate
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||$116.00||$135.00||$141.18||$147.65||$154.41|
|Source||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Est @ 4.58%||Est @ 4.58%||Est @ 4.58%|
|Present Value Discounted @ 11.29%||$104.23||$108.99||$102.42||$96.24||$90.43|
Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US$502m
We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after the five years. 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 (2.9%). In the same way as with the 5-year ‘growth’ period, we discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 11.3%.
Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2022 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$154m × (1 + 2.9%) ÷ (11.3% – 2.9%) = US$1.9b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$1.9b ÷ ( 1 + 11.3%)5 = US$1.1b
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 US$1.6b. In the final step we 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) or ADR then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of $50.27. Relative to the current share price of $53.79, 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 Greenbrier Companies 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 11.3%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.184. 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 GBX, I’ve put together three pertinent factors you should look at:
- Financial Health: Does GBX 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 GBX’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 GBX? 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 NYSE 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 email@example.com.