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Is Fletcher Building Limited (NZSE:FBU) Trading At A 32% Discount?

Key Insights

  • Fletcher Building's estimated fair value is NZ$6.76 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity

  • Fletcher Building's NZ$4.61 share price signals that it might be 32% undervalued

  • Analyst price target for FBU is NZ$6.24 which is 7.7% below our fair value estimate

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Fletcher Building Limited (NZSE:FBU) as an investment opportunity by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

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.

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See our latest analysis for Fletcher Building

Is Fletcher Building Fairly Valued?

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.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

Levered FCF (NZ$, Millions)

-NZ$63.1m

NZ$530.7m

NZ$444.2m

NZ$548.8m

NZ$570.5m

NZ$588.5m

NZ$605.3m

NZ$621.4m

NZ$637.0m

NZ$652.3m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x5

Analyst x5

Analyst x4

Analyst x2

Analyst x1

Est @ 3.16%

Est @ 2.86%

Est @ 2.65%

Est @ 2.51%

Est @ 2.41%

Present Value (NZ$, Millions) Discounted @ 11%

-NZ$56.7

NZ$429

NZ$323

NZ$358

NZ$335

NZ$311

NZ$287

NZ$265

NZ$244

NZ$225

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = NZ$2.7b

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the initial 10-year period, we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all future cash flows beyond 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 2.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 11%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = NZ$652m× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (11%– 2.2%) = NZ$7.4b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= NZ$7.4b÷ ( 1 + 11%)10= NZ$2.5b

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 NZ$5.3b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of NZ$4.6, the company appears quite good value at a 32% 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. Part of investing is coming up with your own evaluation of a company's future performance, so try the calculation yourself and check your own 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 Fletcher Building 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 11%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.525. 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 Fletcher Building

Strength

  • Debt is well covered by earnings.

  • Dividend is in the top 25% of dividend payers in the market.

Weakness

  • Earnings declined over the past year.

Opportunity

  • Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.

  • Significant insider buying over the past 3 months.

Threat

  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow.

  • Paying a dividend but company has no free cash flows.

  • Annual earnings are forecast to decline for the next 3 years.

Looking Ahead:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For Fletcher Building, we've compiled three additional items you should consider:

  1. Risks: Be aware that Fletcher Building is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is significant...

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

  3. 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!

PS. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the NZSE 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.

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