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Is Farfetch Limited (NYSE:FTCH) Trading At A 32% Discount?

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·6 min read
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Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Farfetch Limited (NYSE:FTCH) as an investment opportunity by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. I will be using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

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.

See our latest analysis for Farfetch

Is Farfetch 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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, so we discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

-US$160.0m

-US$86.2m

-US$20.4m

US$89.2m

US$189.8m

US$278.8m

US$371.8m

US$460.5m

US$539.9m

US$607.8m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x1

Analyst x4

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Est @ 46.9%

Est @ 33.35%

Est @ 23.87%

Est @ 17.23%

Est @ 12.58%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 10%

-US$144.9

-US$70.7

-US$15.2

US$60.0

US$116

US$154

US$186

US$209

US$221

US$226

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$940m

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 (1.7%) 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 10%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$608m× (1 + 1.7%) ÷ 10%– 1.7%) = US$7.1b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$7.1b÷ ( 1 + 10%)10= US$2.6b

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$3.6b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$7.2, the company appears quite undervalued at a 32% discount to where the stock price trades currently. 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.

NYSE:FTCH Intrinsic value, March 19th 2020
NYSE:FTCH Intrinsic value, March 19th 2020

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. 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 Farfetch 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 10%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.428. 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:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it 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. What is the reason for the share price to differ from the intrinsic value? For Farfetch, There are three further aspects you should further examine:

  1. Risks: Case in point, we've spotted 3 warning signs for Farfetch you should be aware of.

  2. Future Earnings: How does FTCH'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 US stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock 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.