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easyJet plc (LON:EZJ) Shares Could Be 22% Above Their Intrinsic Value Estimate

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Simply Wall St
·6 min read
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Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of easyJet plc (LON:EZJ) by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.

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. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

View our latest analysis for easyJet

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 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) estimate

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

Levered FCF (£, Millions)

-UK£615.2m

UK£282.3m

UK£464.9m

UK£329.3m

UK£385.0m

UK£398.9m

UK£410.1m

UK£419.4m

UK£427.4m

UK£434.3m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x11

Analyst x8

Analyst x6

Analyst x3

Analyst x1

Est @ 3.6%

Est @ 2.82%

Est @ 2.27%

Est @ 1.89%

Est @ 1.62%

Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 9.4%

-UK£563

UK£236

UK£355

UK£230

UK£246

UK£233

UK£219

UK£205

UK£191

UK£178

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£1.5b

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 1.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 9.4%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£434m× (1 + 1.0%) ÷ (9.4%– 1.0%) = UK£5.3b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£5.3b÷ ( 1 + 9.4%)10= UK£2.1b

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£3.7b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£9.9, the company appears slightly overvalued at the time of writing. Valuations are imprecise instruments though, rather like a telescope - move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Do keep this in mind.

dcf
dcf

The 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 easyJet 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 9.4%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.402. 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.

Moving On:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" If a company grows at a different rate, or if its cost of equity or risk free rate changes sharply, the output can look very different. What is the reason for the share price exceeding the intrinsic value? For easyJet, we've compiled three pertinent aspects you should consider:

  1. Risks: You should be aware of the 3 warning signs for easyJet (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) we've uncovered before considering an investment in the company.

  2. Future Earnings: How does EZJ'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 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. 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.

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