How far off is accesso Technology Group plc (LON:ACSO) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced 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. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.
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 want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the rationale behind this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model.
Step by step through the calculation
We use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of growth rates for the company's cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a lower growth phase. 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.
A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, so we discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:
10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||$7.4m||$11.3m||$15.4m||$21.9m||$26.9m||$31.3m||$34.9m||$37.9m||$40.4m||$42.3m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Est @ 22.71%||Est @ 16.26%||Est @ 11.75%||Est @ 8.59%||Est @ 6.38%||Est @ 4.84%|
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.7%||$6.8||$9.6||$12.0||$15.7||$17.7||$18.9||$19.5||$19.5||$19.0||$18.4|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= $157.0m
We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 1.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 8.7%.
Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$42m × (1 + 1.2%) ÷ (8.7% – 1.2%) = US$573m
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)10 = $US$573m ÷ ( 1 + 8.7%)10 = $248.71m
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 $405.71m. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. This results in an intrinsic value estimate in the company’s reported currency of $14.81. However, ACSO’s primary listing is in United Kingdom, and 1 share of ACSO in USD represents 0.803 ( USD/ GBP) share of AIM:ACSO, so the intrinsic value per share in GBP is £11.9. Relative to the current share price of £9.12, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 23% 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.
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 accesso Technology Group 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 8.7%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.124. 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.
Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and 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 accesso Technology Group, There are three fundamental factors you should further examine:
- Financial Health: Does ACSO 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.
- Future Earnings: How does ACSO'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.
- Other High Quality Alternatives: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of ACSO? 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 LON every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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. Thank you for reading.