In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Lam Soon (Hong Kong) Limited (HKG:411) by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. I will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.
We generally believe that a company's value is the present value of all of the cash it will generate in the future. However, a DCF is just one valuation metric among many, and it is not without flaws. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.
Crunching the numbers
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. Seeing as no analyst estimates of free cash flow are available to us, we have extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the company's last 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 (HK$, Millions)||HK$166.3m||HK$154.2m||HK$147.0m||HK$142.9m||HK$140.7m||HK$139.9m||HK$140.0m||HK$140.7m||HK$141.9m||HK$143.3m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Est @ -11.13%||Est @ -7.32%||Est @ -4.66%||Est @ -2.8%||Est @ -1.49%||Est @ -0.58%||Est @ 0.06%||Est @ 0.51%||Est @ 0.82%||Est @ 1.04%|
|Present Value (HK$, Millions) Discounted @ 6.4%||HK$156||HK$136||HK$122||HK$111||HK$103||HK$96.4||HK$90.6||HK$85.6||HK$81.1||HK$77.0|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = HK$1.1b
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 a future annual growth rate equal to the 10-year government bond rate of 1.6%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.4%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = HK$143m× (1 + 1.6%) ÷ 6.4%– 1.6%) = HK$3.0b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= HK$3.0b÷ ( 1 + 6.4%)10= HK$1.6b
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 HK$2.7b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of HK$12.5, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.
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 Lam Soon (Hong Kong) 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 6.4%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.800. 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. For Lam Soon (Hong Kong), We've put together three important factors you should further research:
- Risks: For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Lam Soon (Hong Kong) that you should be aware of.
- Other High Quality Alternatives: Do you like a good all-rounder? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!
- Other Environmentally-Friendly Companies: Concerned about the environment and think consumers will buy eco-friendly products more and more? Browse through our interactive list of companies that are thinking about a greener future to discover some stocks you may not have thought of!
PS. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the SEHK every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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