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Estimating The Intrinsic Value Of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc (LON:SPX)

Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, Spirax-Sarco Engineering fair value estimate is UK£96.77

  • Spirax-Sarco Engineering's UK£91.75 share price indicates it is trading at similar levels as its fair value estimate

  • Our fair value estimate is 1.9% lower than Spirax-Sarco Engineering's analyst price target of UK£98.59

How far off is Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc (LON:SPX) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

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.

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See our latest analysis for Spirax-Sarco Engineering

The Calculation

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. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next ten years. 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.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, 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) forecast

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

2033

Levered FCF (£, Millions)

UK£163.3m

UK£203.2m

UK£273.9m

UK£322.0m

UK£398.0m

UK£454.1m

UK£501.3m

UK£540.5m

UK£572.9m

UK£600.0m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x5

Analyst x6

Analyst x3

Analyst x2

Analyst x1

Est @ 14.10%

Est @ 10.40%

Est @ 7.81%

Est @ 6.00%

Est @ 4.73%

Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 7.9%

UK£151

UK£174

UK£218

UK£237

UK£272

UK£287

UK£294

UK£294

UK£288

UK£280

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£2.5b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 1.8%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 7.9%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£600m× (1 + 1.8%) ÷ (7.9%– 1.8%) = UK£9.9b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£9.9b÷ ( 1 + 7.9%)10= UK£4.6b

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 UK£7.1b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of UK£91.8, the company appears about fair value at a 5.2% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

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 Spirax-Sarco Engineering 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 7.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.123. 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.

SWOT Analysis for Spirax-Sarco Engineering

Strength

  • Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.

  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.

Weakness

  • Earnings declined over the past year.

  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Machinery market.

Opportunity

  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow faster than the British market.

  • Current share price is below our estimate of fair value.

Threat

  • Revenue is forecast to grow slower than 20% per year.

Looking Ahead:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and 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. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or 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 Spirax-Sarco Engineering, we've compiled three additional elements you should further examine:

  1. Risks: For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Spirax-Sarco Engineering that you should be aware of before investing here.

  2. Future Earnings: How does SPX'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 LSE every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.