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An Intrinsic Calculation For William Hill plc (LON:WMH) Suggests It's 34% Undervalued

Simply Wall St

Does the April share price for William Hill plc (LON:WMH) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the foreast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back 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.

See our latest analysis for William Hill

Is William Hill 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. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next ten years. 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

2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029
Levered FCF (£, Millions) UK£10.2m UK£97.4m UK£155.7m UK£125.0m UK£139.0m UK£146.3m UK£151.9m UK£156.3m UK£159.6m UK£162.3m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x9 Analyst x8 Analyst x6 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 5.26% Est @ 3.84% Est @ 2.85% Est @ 2.15% Est @ 1.67%
Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 10.0% UK£9.3 UK£80.5 UK£117 UK£85.4 UK£86.3 UK£82.6 UK£78.0 UK£72.9 UK£67.7 UK£62.6

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£742m

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after the first stage. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at a future annual growth rate equal to the 10-year government bond rate of 0.5%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 10.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£162m× (1 + 0.5%) ÷ 10.0%– 0.5%) = UK£1.7b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£1.7b÷ ( 1 + 10.0%)10= UK£665m

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£1.4b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£1.1, the company appears quite undervalued at a 34% discount to where the stock price trades currently. The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it is better to view this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last cent.

LSE:WMH Intrinsic value April 10th 2020

Important 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. 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 William Hill 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 10.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.559. 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 William Hill, There are three essential aspects you should look at:

  1. Risks: To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with William Hill (including 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) .
  2. Future Earnings: How does WMH'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.

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.