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Are Investors Undervaluing Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Limited (ASX:NEC) By 47%?

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·5-min read
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Does the October share price for Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Limited (ASX:NEC) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. 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 Nine Entertainment Holdings

The model

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. 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) estimate

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

Levered FCF (A$, Millions)

AU$280.8m

AU$351.5m

AU$350.7m

AU$369.0m

AU$381.0m

AU$391.0m

AU$400.3m

AU$409.2m

AU$417.9m

AU$426.5m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Est @ 2.62%

Est @ 2.39%

Est @ 2.23%

Est @ 2.12%

Est @ 2.04%

Present Value (A$, Millions) Discounted @ 6.0%

AU$265

AU$313

AU$294

AU$292

AU$284

AU$275

AU$265

AU$256

AU$246

AU$237

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = AU$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 1.9%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = AU$426m× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (6.0%– 1.9%) = AU$10b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= AU$10b÷ ( 1 + 6.0%)10= AU$5.8b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is AU$8.5b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of AU$2.7, the company appears quite good value at a 47% 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
dcf

The assumptions

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. 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 Nine Entertainment Holdings 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 6.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.956. 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:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess 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. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For Nine Entertainment Holdings, there are three relevant factors you should further examine:

  1. Risks: For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Nine Entertainment Holdings that you should be aware of.

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

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.

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

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