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Is There An Opportunity With Eckoh plc’s (LON:ECK) 43.3% Undervaluation?

I am going to run you through how I calculated the intrinsic value of Eckoh plc (LON:ECK) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today’s value. I will be using the Discounted Cash Flows (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple! Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model. If you are reading this and its not November 2018 then I highly recommend you check out the latest calculation for Eckoh by following the link below.

Check out our latest analysis for Eckoh

Is ECK fairly valued?

I use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of varying growth rates for the company’s cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a more stable growth phase. To start off with we need to estimate the next five years of cash flows. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. I then discount this to its value today and sum up the total to get the present value of these cash flows.

5-year cash flow estimate

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Levered FCF (£, Millions) £5.00 £7.00 £10.80 £12.80 £13.50
Source Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1
Present Value Discounted @ 8.28% £4.62 £5.97 £8.51 £9.31 £9.07

Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= UK£37m

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after the five years. 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£14m × (1 + 1.4%) ÷ (8.3% – 1.4%) = UK£199m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = UK£199m ÷ ( 1 + 8.3%)5 = UK£134m

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£171m. In the final step we 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) or ADR then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of £0.68. Relative to the current share price of £0.38, the stock is quite undervalued at a 43% discount to what it is available for right now.

AIM:ECK Intrinsic Value Export November 5th 18

The assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual cash flows. You don’t have to agree with my inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. Because we are looking at Eckoh 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:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. What is the reason for the share price to differ from the intrinsic value? For ECK, there are three pertinent aspects you should further research:

  1. Financial Health: Does ECK 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 ECK’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 ECK? 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.