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Calculating The Intrinsic Value Of Computacenter plc (LON:CCC)

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Simply Wall St
·6 min read
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Does the March share price for Computacenter plc (LON:CCC) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

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 Computacenter

Is Computacenter fairly valued?

We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second 'steady growth' period. 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.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, so we need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

Levered FCF (£, Millions)

UK£138.6m

UK£139.6m

UK£176.5m

UK£173.2m

UK£171.4m

UK£170.7m

UK£170.7m

UK£171.2m

UK£172.1m

UK£173.3m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x2

Analyst x3

Analyst x2

Est @ -1.89%

Est @ -1.02%

Est @ -0.41%

Est @ 0.01%

Est @ 0.31%

Est @ 0.52%

Est @ 0.66%

Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 7.8%

UK£129

UK£120

UK£141

UK£128

UK£118

UK£109

UK£101

UK£93.8

UK£87.5

UK£81.7

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£1.1b

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. 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 1.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 7.8%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£173m× (1 + 1.0%) ÷ (7.8%– 1.0%) = UK£2.6b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£2.6b÷ ( 1 + 7.8%)10= UK£1.2b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is UK£2.3b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£23.4, 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

The assumptions

We would point out that the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate and of course the actual 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 Computacenter 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 7.8%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.142. 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.

Looking Ahead:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. 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 Computacenter, there are three essential aspects you should further research:

  1. Risks: As an example, we've found 2 warning signs for Computacenter (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that you need to consider before investing here.

  2. Future Earnings: How does CCC'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.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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