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Estimating The Fair Value Of Dewhurst PLC (LON:DWHT)

Simply Wall St

Does the December share price for Dewhurst PLC (LON:DWHT) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. I will be using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. 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 Dewhurst

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, 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

2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029
Levered FCF (£, Millions) UK£5.00m UK£5.30m UK£5.52m UK£5.70m UK£5.85m UK£5.98m UK£6.09m UK£6.20m UK£6.30m UK£6.39m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 4.12% Est @ 3.25% Est @ 2.65% Est @ 2.22% Est @ 1.92% Est @ 1.71% Est @ 1.57% Est @ 1.47%
Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 8.8% UK£4.6 UK£4.5 UK£4.3 UK£4.1 UK£3.8 UK£3.6 UK£3.4 UK£3.2 UK£3.0 UK£2.8

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£37m

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the intial 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 10-year government bond rate (1.2%) 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 8.8%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£6.4m× (1 + 1.2%) ÷ 8.8%– 1.2%) = UK£86m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£86m÷ ( 1 + 8.8%)10= UK£37m

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£74m. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of UK£9.6, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

AIM:DWHT Intrinsic value, December 4th 2019

Important assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. If you don't agree with these result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the 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 Dewhurst 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 8.8%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.134. 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.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, DCF calculation shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching 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?" 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. For Dewhurst, I've put together three fundamental aspects you should further examine:

  1. Future Earnings: How does DWHT'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.
  2. Other High Quality Alternatives: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of DWHT? 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 AIM every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.