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A Look At The Intrinsic Value Of Dow Inc. (NYSE:DOW)

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·5 min read
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  • DOW

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Dow Inc. (NYSE:DOW) as an investment opportunity by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

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. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for Dow

What's the estimated valuation?

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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$6.12b

US$4.39b

US$3.49b

US$3.00b

US$2.73b

US$2.57b

US$2.48b

US$2.44b

US$2.42b

US$2.42b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x10

Analyst x4

Est @ -20.63%

Est @ -13.85%

Est @ -9.11%

Est @ -5.79%

Est @ -3.46%

Est @ -1.84%

Est @ -0.7%

Est @ 0.1%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.0%

US$5.7k

US$3.8k

US$2.8k

US$2.3k

US$1.9k

US$1.7k

US$1.5k

US$1.4k

US$1.3k

US$1.2k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$24b

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 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield of 2.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 7.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$2.4b× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (7.0%– 2.0%) = US$49b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$49b÷ ( 1 + 7.0%)10= US$25b

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$49b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$56.9, the company appears about fair value at a 13% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

dcf
dcf

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 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 Dow 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 7.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.158. 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.

Looking Ahead:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or 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. For Dow, we've compiled three relevant aspects you should look at:

  1. Risks: We feel that you should assess the 3 warning signs for Dow (1 shouldn't be ignored!) we've flagged before making an investment in the company.

  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for DOW'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 NYSE every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.