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Is Glencore plc (LON:GLEN) Trading At A 36% Discount?

Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, Glencore fair value estimate is UK£7.07

  • Glencore's UK£4.49 share price signals that it might be 36% undervalued

  • Analyst price target for GLEN is US$5.44 which is 23% below our fair value estimate

How far off is Glencore plc (LON:GLEN) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected 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.

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for Glencore

Is Glencore 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 begin with, we have to get estimates of 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) forecast

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

2033

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$7.44b

US$6.74b

US$7.50b

US$7.56b

US$7.63b

US$7.72b

US$7.81b

US$7.92b

US$8.03b

US$8.14b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x4

Analyst x3

Analyst x1

Est @ 0.74%

Est @ 0.97%

Est @ 1.14%

Est @ 1.25%

Est @ 1.33%

Est @ 1.39%

Est @ 1.43%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.1%

US$6.9k

US$5.8k

US$5.9k

US$5.5k

US$5.2k

US$4.8k

US$4.5k

US$4.2k

US$4.0k

US$3.7k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$51b

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after 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 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (1.5%) 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 8.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$8.1b× (1 + 1.5%) ÷ (8.1%– 1.5%) = US$125b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$125b÷ ( 1 + 8.1%)10= US$57b

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next ten years plus the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US$108b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£4.5, the company appears quite good value at a 36% 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.

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. 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 Glencore 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 8.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.323. 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 Glencore

Strength

  • Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.

  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.

  • Dividend is in the top 25% of dividend payers in the market.

Weakness

  • Earnings declined over the past year.

Opportunity

  • Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.

Threat

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

Next Steps:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Glencore, there are three further factors you should consider:

  1. Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with Glencore (at least 1 which is a bit unpleasant) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

  2. Future Earnings: How does GLEN'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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the LSE 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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