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Is There An Opportunity With Fletcher Building Limited's (NZSE:FBU) 25% Undervaluation?

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·6-min read
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Does the May share price for Fletcher Building Limited (NZSE:FBU) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

See our latest analysis for Fletcher Building

The calculation

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) forecast

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

Levered FCF (NZ$, Millions)

NZ$562.3m

NZ$213.0m

NZ$421.0m

NZ$196.5m

NZ$359.0m

NZ$379.3m

NZ$396.8m

NZ$412.1m

NZ$425.9m

NZ$438.6m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x3

Analyst x4

Analyst x5

Analyst x2

Analyst x1

Est @ 5.65%

Est @ 4.6%

Est @ 3.86%

Est @ 3.35%

Est @ 2.98%

Present Value (NZ$, Millions) Discounted @ 6.5%

NZ$528

NZ$188

NZ$348

NZ$153

NZ$262

NZ$260

NZ$255

NZ$249

NZ$241

NZ$233

("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. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of a country's GDP growth. In this case we have used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (2.1%) to estimate future growth. In the same way as with the 10-year 'growth' period, we discount future cash flows to today's value, using a cost of equity of 6.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = NZ$439m× (1 + 2.1%) ÷ (6.5%– 2.1%) = NZ$10b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= NZ$10b÷ ( 1 + 6.5%)10= NZ$5.4b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is NZ$8.2b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of NZ$7.4, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 25% 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

Important assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the 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 6.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.928. 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.

Moving On:

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. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. 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. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For Fletcher Building, we've compiled three further elements you should explore:

  1. Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Fletcher Building , and understanding it should be part of your investment process.

  2. Future Earnings: How does FBU'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. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every New Zealander 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.

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