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Are Hill & Smith PLC (LON:HILS) Investors Paying Above The Intrinsic Value?

Key Insights

  • The projected fair value for Hill & Smith is UK£14.50 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity

  • Current share price of UK£18.00 suggests Hill & Smith is potentially 24% overvalued

  • The UK£20.49 analyst price target for HILS is 41% more than our estimate of fair value

Does the December share price for Hill & Smith PLC (LON:HILS) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. 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 Hill & Smith

What's The Estimated Valuation?

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)

UK£70.4m

UK£77.0m

UK£78.5m

UK£80.0m

UK£81.4m

UK£82.7m

UK£84.1m

UK£85.4m

UK£86.8m

UK£88.1m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x5

Analyst x5

Est @ 1.99%

Est @ 1.85%

Est @ 1.75%

Est @ 1.68%

Est @ 1.63%

Est @ 1.60%

Est @ 1.57%

Est @ 1.56%

Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 8.1%

UK£65.1

UK£65.9

UK£62.2

UK£58.6

UK£55.1

UK£51.9

UK£48.8

UK£45.8

UK£43.1

UK£40.5

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£537m

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 1.5%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 8.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£88m× (1 + 1.5%) ÷ (8.1%– 1.5%) = UK£1.4b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£1.4b÷ ( 1 + 8.1%)10= UK£625m

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 UK£1.2b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£18.0, 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

Important Assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual 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 Hill & Smith 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 1.113. 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 Hill & Smith

Strength

  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.

  • Debt is not viewed as a risk.

  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.

Weakness

  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Metals and Mining market.

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

Opportunity

  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow faster than the British market.

Threat

  • Revenue is forecast to grow slower than 20% per year.

Looking Ahead:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for 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?" For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. What is the reason for the share price exceeding the intrinsic value? For Hill & Smith, we've compiled three relevant elements you should look at:

  1. Financial Health: Does HILS have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.

  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for HILS's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.

  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. 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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