Calculating The Fair Value Of Woodward, Inc. (NASDAQ:WWD)

·6 min read

Key Insights

  • Woodward's estimated fair value is US$92.41 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity

  • With US$89.39 share price, Woodward appears to be trading close to its estimated fair value

  • Analyst price target for WWD is US$102, which is 9.8% above our fair value estimate

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Woodward, Inc. (NASDAQ:WWD) as an investment opportunity by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. Models like these may appear beyond the comprehension of a lay person, but they're fairly easy to follow.

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. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for Woodward

Crunching The Numbers

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. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next ten years. 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.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$219.5m

US$281.4m

US$318.0m

US$355.2m

US$339.0m

US$330.9m

US$327.4m

US$327.1m

US$328.8m

US$332.1m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x6

Analyst x6

Analyst x4

Analyst x2

Analyst x1

Est @ -2.39%

Est @ -1.05%

Est @ -0.11%

Est @ 0.54%

Est @ 1.00%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.1%

US$205

US$245

US$259

US$270

US$240

US$219

US$202

US$188

US$177

US$167

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$2.2b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 (2.1%) 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 7.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$332m× (1 + 2.1%) ÷ (7.1%– 2.1%) = US$6.7b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$6.7b÷ ( 1 + 7.1%)10= US$3.3b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is US$5.5b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$89.4, the company appears about fair value at a 3.3% 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.

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. You don't have to agree with these inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. 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 Woodward 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 7.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.854. 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 Woodward

Strength

  • Debt is well covered by earnings.

  • 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 Aerospace & Defense market.

Opportunity

  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow for the next 3 years.

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

  • Significant insider buying over the past 3 months.

Threat

  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow.

  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Looking Ahead:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or overvalued. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. For Woodward, we've compiled three further items you should consider:

  1. Financial Health: Does WWD 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. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for WWD's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.

  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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the NASDAQGS every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks 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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