Estimating The Fair Value Of Rotork plc (LON:ROR)

Simply Wall St

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Rotork plc (LON:ROR) as an investment opportunity by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. I will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. 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.

See our latest analysis for Rotork

The method

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 start off with, we need to estimate 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 discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029
Levered FCF (£, Millions) UK£105.9m UK£116.3m UK£119.3m UK£120.5m UK£141.0m UK£147.2m UK£152.0m UK£155.7m UK£158.6m UK£160.9m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x10 Analyst x10 Analyst x6 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 4.4% Est @ 3.24% Est @ 2.43% Est @ 1.86% Est @ 1.46%
Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 6.5% UK£99.5 UK£103 UK£98.9 UK£93.8 UK£103 UK£101 UK£98.1 UK£94.3 UK£90.3 UK£86.0

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£967m

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after the first stage. 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 10-year government bond rate (0.5%) 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 6.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£161m× (1 + 0.5%) ÷ 6.5%– 0.5%) = UK£2.7b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£2.7b÷ ( 1 + 6.5%)10= UK£1.5b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is UK£2.4b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of UK£2.2, the company appears about fair value at a 20% 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.

LSE:ROR Intrinsic value March 30th 2020

Important assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. You don't have to agree with these inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. 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 Rotork 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 6.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.977. 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 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. For Rotork, We've compiled three further aspects you should further research:

  1. Risks: We feel that you should assess the 2 warning signs for Rotork we've flagged before making an investment in the company.
  2. Future Earnings: How does ROR'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. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every GB stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.

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