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Estimating The Fair Value Of PipeHawk plc (LON:PIP)

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·5-min read
In this article:
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In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of PipeHawk plc (LON:PIP) by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

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 PipeHawk

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. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next ten years. Seeing as no analyst estimates of free cash flow are available to us, we have extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the company's last 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) estimate

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

Levered FCF (£, Millions)

UK£703.7k

UK£617.1k

UK£565.6k

UK£534.1k

UK£514.7k

UK£503.0k

UK£496.3k

UK£493.1k

UK£492.2k

UK£492.9k

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Est @ -17.97%

Est @ -12.31%

Est @ -8.35%

Est @ -5.57%

Est @ -3.63%

Est @ -2.27%

Est @ -1.32%

Est @ -0.65%

Est @ -0.19%

Est @ 0.14%

Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 10.0%

UK£0.6

UK£0.5

UK£0.4

UK£0.4

UK£0.3

UK£0.3

UK£0.3

UK£0.2

UK£0.2

UK£0.2

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£3.0m

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 0.9%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 10.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£493k× (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (10.0%– 0.9%) = UK£5.5m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£5.5m÷ ( 1 + 10.0%)10= UK£2.1m

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 UK£5.1m. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£0.1, the company appears about fair value at a 2.9% 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

Important assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. You don't have to agree with these inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. 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 PipeHawk 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 10.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.858. 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 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?" If a company grows at a different rate, or if its cost of equity or risk free rate changes sharply, the output can look very different. For PipeHawk, we've compiled three relevant items you should consider:

  1. Risks: Take risks, for example - PipeHawk has 4 warning signs (and 3 which are a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.

  2. 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!

  3. Other Environmentally-Friendly Companies: Concerned about the environment and think consumers will buy eco-friendly products more and more? Browse through our interactive list of companies that are thinking about a greener future to discover some stocks you may not have thought of!

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.

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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