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Are Investors Undervaluing Auckland International Airport Limited (NZSE:AIA) By 24%?

·6 min read

How far off is Auckland International Airport Limited (NZSE:AIA) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

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 Auckland International Airport

The Calculation

We're using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company's growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have a stable growth rate. 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.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, 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

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

Levered FCF (NZ$, Millions)

NZ$255.5m

NZ$432.4m

NZ$491.6m

NZ$512.1m

NZ$542.4m

NZ$565.8m

NZ$586.5m

NZ$605.0m

NZ$622.2m

NZ$638.4m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Est @ 4.32%

Est @ 3.64%

Est @ 3.17%

Est @ 2.84%

Est @ 2.6%

Present Value (NZ$, Millions) Discounted @ 5.5%

NZ$242

NZ$388

NZ$418

NZ$413

NZ$414

NZ$410

NZ$402

NZ$393

NZ$383

NZ$373

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = NZ$3.8b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 (2.1%) 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 5.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = NZ$638m× (1 + 2.1%) ÷ (5.5%– 2.1%) = NZ$19b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= NZ$19b÷ ( 1 + 5.5%)10= NZ$11b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is NZ$15b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of NZ$7.6, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 24% 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

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 Auckland International Airport 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 5.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.818. 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:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it is only one of many factors that you need to assess 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Auckland International Airport, we've compiled three important aspects you should further examine:

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

  2. Future Earnings: How does AIA'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. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every New Zealander stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock 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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