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A Look At The Fair Value Of dotDigital Group Plc (LON:DOTD)

Today I will be providing a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of dotDigital Group Plc (LON:DOTD) as an investment opportunity by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today’s value. I will use the Discounted Cash Flows (DCF) model. Don’t get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward. If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the basis for my calcs can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model. If you are reading this and its not December 2018 then I highly recommend you check out the latest calculation for dotDigital Group by following the link below.

See our latest analysis for dotDigital Group

Is DOTD fairly valued?

I’m 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 perpetual stable growth rate. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next five years. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. I then discount the sum of these cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate.

5-year cash flow estimate

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Levered FCF (£, Millions) £6.00 £9.50 £12.28 £14.37 £16.67
Source Analyst x1 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Est @ 17%, capped from 22.89% Est @ 16%, capped from 22.89%
Present Value Discounted @ 8.28% £5.54 £8.11 £9.68 £10.45 £11.20

Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= UK£45m

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the intial 5-year period we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows beyond the first stage. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of the GDP. In this case I have used the 10-year government bond rate (1.4%). In the same way as with the 5-year ‘growth’ period, we discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 8.3%.

Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2022 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£17m × (1 + 1.4%) ÷ (8.3% – 1.4%) = UK£246m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = UK£246m ÷ ( 1 + 8.3%)5 = UK£165m

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next five years and the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is UK£210m. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. If the stock is an depositary receipt (represents a specified number of shares in a foreign corporation) then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of £0.71. Compared to the current share price of £0.78, the stock is fair value, maybe slightly overvalued at the time of writing.

AIM:DOTD Intrinsic Value Export December 12th 18

Important 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 my result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. Because we are looking at dotDigital Group as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighed average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation I’ve used 8.3%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.800. This is derived from the Bottom-Up Beta method based on comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, DCF calculation shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. For DOTD, I’ve put together three important aspects you should look at:

  1. Financial Health: Does DOTD 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. Future Earnings: How does DOTD’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: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of DOTD? 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 for every stock on the LON every 6 hours. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.