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Calculating The Fair Value Of Hargreaves Services Plc (LON:HSP)

Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, Hargreaves Services fair value estimate is UK£3.59

  • With UK£4.26 share price, Hargreaves Services appears to be trading close to its estimated fair value

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Hargreaves Services Plc (LON:HSP) by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

We would caution that there are many ways of valuing a company and, like the DCF, each technique has advantages and disadvantages in certain scenarios. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for Hargreaves Services

Step By Step Through The Calculation

We use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of growth rates for the company's cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a lower growth phase. To start off with, we need to estimate 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) forecast

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

2033

Levered FCF (£, Millions)

UK£10.1m

UK£9.83m

UK£9.71m

UK£9.67m

UK£9.68m

UK£9.72m

UK£9.79m

UK£9.89m

UK£9.99m

UK£10.1m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Est @ -1.24%

Est @ -0.46%

Est @ 0.09%

Est @ 0.48%

Est @ 0.75%

Est @ 0.94%

Est @ 1.07%

Est @ 1.16%

Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 9.2%

UK£9.2

UK£8.2

UK£7.5

UK£6.8

UK£6.2

UK£5.7

UK£5.3

UK£4.9

UK£4.5

UK£4.2

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£63m

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the initial 10-year period, we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all future cash flows beyond 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 (1.4%) 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 9.2%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£10m× (1 + 1.4%) ÷ (9.2%– 1.4%) = UK£131m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£131m÷ ( 1 + 9.2%)10= UK£55m

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 UK£117m. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£4.3, 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.

dcf
dcf

Important Assumptions

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 Hargreaves Services 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 9.2%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.320. 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 Hargreaves Services

Strength

  • Currently debt free.

  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.

Weakness

  • Earnings declined over the past year.

  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Oil and Gas market.

  • Current share price is above our estimate of fair value.

Opportunity

  • Significant insider buying over the past 3 months.

Threat

  • No apparent threats visible for HSP.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. For Hargreaves Services, we've compiled three fundamental items you should further research:

  1. Risks: For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Hargreaves Services that you should be aware of before investing here.

  2. Future Earnings: How does HSP'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: Do you like a good all-rounder? 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 updates its DCF calculation for every British stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.

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