Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Saputo Inc. (TSE:SAP) by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today’s value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

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. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for Saputo

The method

We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second ‘steady growth’ period. 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) estimate

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

Levered FCF (CA$, Millions)

CA$634.0m

CA$890.5m

CA$900.0m

CA$973.0m

CA$971.0m

CA$974.2m

CA$980.9m

CA$990.1m

CA$1.00b

CA$1.01b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Est @ 0.33%

Est @ 0.69%

Est @ 0.94%

Est @ 1.12%

Est @ 1.24%

Present Value (CA$, Millions) Discounted @ 5.3%

CA$602

CA$803

CA$771

CA$791

CA$750

CA$714

CA$683

CA$655

CA$629

CA$604

(“Est” = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CA$7.0b

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 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield of 1.5%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today’s value at a cost of equity of 5.3%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CA$1.0b× (1 + 1.5%) ÷ (5.3%– 1.5%) = CA$27b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CA$27b÷ ( 1 + 5.3%)10= CA$16b

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 CA$23b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of CA$37.3, the company appears quite undervalued at a 34% 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

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 Saputo 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 5.3%, 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.

Looking Ahead:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it ideally won’t be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Saputo, we’ve put together three important aspects you should explore:

  1. Risks: You should be aware of the 1 warning sign for Saputo we’ve uncovered before considering an investment in the company.

  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market’s sentiment for SAP’s future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.

  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 Canadian stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock 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 (at) simplywallst.com.