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Estimating The Fair Value Of Alpha Financial Markets Consulting plc (LON:AFM)

Key Insights

  • The projected fair value for Alpha Financial Markets Consulting is UK£4.65 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity

  • Current share price of UK£4.63 suggests Alpha Financial Markets Consulting is potentially trading close to its fair value

  • The UK£5.72 analyst price target for AFM is 23% more than our estimate of fair value

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Alpha Financial Markets Consulting plc (LON:AFM) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. 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. 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 Alpha Financial Markets Consulting

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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

Levered FCF (£, Millions)

UK£24.2m

UK£27.9m

UK£30.8m

UK£31.6m

UK£32.2m

UK£32.8m

UK£33.3m

UK£33.8m

UK£34.2m

UK£34.7m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x4

Analyst x4

Analyst x3

Est @ 2.37%

Est @ 2.00%

Est @ 1.75%

Est @ 1.57%

Est @ 1.44%

Est @ 1.35%

Est @ 1.29%

Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 6.9%

UK£22.6

UK£24.4

UK£25.2

UK£24.2

UK£23.1

UK£21.9

UK£20.8

UK£19.8

UK£18.8

UK£17.8

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£219m

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 1.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.9%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£35m× (1 + 1.2%) ÷ (6.9%– 1.2%) = UK£609m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£609m÷ ( 1 + 6.9%)10= UK£312m

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is UK£531m. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£4.6, the company appears about fair value at a 0.5% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Valuations are imprecise instruments though, rather like a telescope - move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Do keep this in mind.

dcf
dcf

Important 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 Alpha Financial Markets Consulting 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 6.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.826. 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 Alpha Financial Markets Consulting

Strength

  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.

  • Debt is not viewed as a risk.

  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.

Weakness

  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Professional Services 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.

Moving On:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. For Alpha Financial Markets Consulting, we've compiled three essential elements you should explore:

  1. Risks: We feel that you should assess the 1 warning sign for Alpha Financial Markets Consulting we've flagged before making an investment in the company.

  2. Future Earnings: How does AFM'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 AIM 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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