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Is There An Opportunity With Fletcher Building Limited's (NZSE:FBU) 50% Undervaluation?

Key Insights

  • Fletcher Building's estimated fair value is NZ$8.99 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity

  • Fletcher Building is estimated to be 50% undervalued based on current share price of NZ$4.52

  • Analyst price target for FBU is NZ$5.75 which is 36% below our fair value estimate

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Fletcher Building Limited (NZSE:FBU) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

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View our latest analysis for Fletcher Building

What's The Estimated Valuation?

We use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of growth rates for the company's cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a lower growth phase. 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.

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

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

2033

Levered FCF (NZ$, Millions)

NZ$150.0m

NZ$380.3m

NZ$421.5m

NZ$509.0m

NZ$592.2m

NZ$654.0m

NZ$706.5m

NZ$751.4m

NZ$790.3m

NZ$824.7m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x4

Analyst x4

Analyst x4

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Est @ 10.44%

Est @ 8.04%

Est @ 6.36%

Est @ 5.18%

Est @ 4.35%

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

NZ$136

NZ$311

NZ$312

NZ$341

NZ$359

NZ$359

NZ$351

NZ$338

NZ$322

NZ$304

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = NZ$3.1b

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 (2.4%) 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 11%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = NZ$825m× (1 + 2.4%) ÷ (11%– 2.4%) = NZ$10b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= NZ$10b÷ ( 1 + 11%)10= NZ$3.8b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is NZ$7.0b. 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$4.5, the company appears quite good value at a 50% 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

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 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 1.616. 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 not viewed as a risk.

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

Weakness

  • Earnings declined over the past year.

Opportunity

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

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

Threat

  • Dividends are not covered by earnings.

  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the New Zealander market.

Next Steps:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. 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. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For Fletcher Building, there are three relevant elements you should further examine:

  1. Risks: Case in point, we've spotted 3 warning signs for Fletcher Building you should be aware of, and 1 of them shouldn't be ignored.

  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 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 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.