Today I will be providing a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) as an investment opportunity by estimating the company’s future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. This is done using 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. Please also note that this article was written in December 2018 so be sure check out the updated calculation by following the link below.
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
|Levered FCF (A$, Millions)||A$1.60k||A$943.08||A$950.23||A$965.50||A$981.01|
|Source||Analyst x5||Analyst x5||Analyst x4||Est @ 1.61%||Est @ 1.61%|
|Present Value Discounted @ 9.28%||A$1.47k||A$789.75||A$728.18||A$677.07||A$629.55|
Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= AU$4.3b
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 an annual growth rate equal to the 10-year government bond rate of 2.8%. We discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 9.3%.
Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2022 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = AU$981m × (1 + 2.8%) ÷ (9.3% – 2.8%) = AU$16b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = AU$16b ÷ ( 1 + 9.3%)5 = AU$9.9b
The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the cash flows, which in this case is AU$14b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding, or the equivalent number if this is a depositary receipt or ADR. This results in an intrinsic value of A$9.25. Relative to the current share price of A$5.65, the stock is quite undervalued at a 39% discount to what it is available for right now.
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 my result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. Because we are looking at Qantas Airways 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 9.3%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.900. 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.
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 QAN, there are three important factors you should further research:
- Financial Health: Does QAN 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 QAN’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 QAN? 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 ASX 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.