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Is There An Opportunity With Huon Aquaculture Group Limited's (ASX:HUO) 28% Undervaluation?

Simply Wall St
·6 min read

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Huon Aquaculture Group Limited (ASX:HUO) by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

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.

Check out our latest analysis for Huon Aquaculture Group

Crunching the numbers

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. 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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, 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) estimate

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

Levered FCF (A$, Millions)

AU$4.10m

AU$22.0m

AU$24.0m

AU$25.5m

AU$26.8m

AU$27.9m

AU$29.0m

AU$29.9m

AU$30.8m

AU$31.6m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Est @ 6.28%

Est @ 5.07%

Est @ 4.23%

Est @ 3.64%

Est @ 3.23%

Est @ 2.94%

Est @ 2.73%

Present Value (A$, Millions) Discounted @ 8.1%

AU$3.8

AU$18.8

AU$19.0

AU$18.7

AU$18.2

AU$17.5

AU$16.8

AU$16.1

AU$15.3

AU$14.5

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = AU$158m

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 (2.3%) 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 8.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = AU$32m× (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (8.1%– 2.3%) = AU$556m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= AU$556m÷ ( 1 + 8.1%)10= AU$256m

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 AU$414m. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of AU$2.7, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 28% 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.

dcf
dcf

The assumptions

Now 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 Huon Aquaculture 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 8.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.967. 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:

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. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. 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 sitting below the intrinsic value? For Huon Aquaculture Group, there are three relevant factors you should assess:

  1. Risks: Take risks, for example - Huon Aquaculture Group has 3 warning signs (and 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable) we think you should know about.

  2. Future Earnings: How does HUO'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 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 ASX 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. 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@simplywallst.com.