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Are Investors Undervaluing ITV plc (LON:ITV) By 33%?

Simply Wall St
·6-min read

How far off is ITV plc (LON:ITV) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced 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!

We would caution that there are many ways of valuing a company and, like the DCF, each technique has advantages and disadvantages in certain scenarios. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

View our latest analysis for ITV

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 begin with, we have to get estimates of 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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

Levered FCF (£, Millions)

UK£309.5m

UK£373.0m

UK£346.0m

UK£316.0m

UK£316.7m

UK£318.3m

UK£320.6m

UK£323.4m

UK£326.5m

UK£330.0m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x6

Analyst x6

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Est @ 0.21%

Est @ 0.51%

Est @ 0.72%

Est @ 0.87%

Est @ 0.98%

Est @ 1.05%

Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 7.9%

UK£287

UK£320

UK£275

UK£233

UK£216

UK£201

UK£188

UK£176

UK£164

UK£154

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£2.2b

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 (1.2%) 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 7.9%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£330m× (1 + 1.2%) ÷ (7.9%– 1.2%) = UK£5.0b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£5.0b÷ ( 1 + 7.9%)10= UK£2.3b

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£4.5b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of UK£0.8, the company appears quite good value at a 33% 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 ITV 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 7.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.969. 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.

Next Steps:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it is only one of many factors that you need to assess for 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For ITV, there are three essential items you should look at:

  1. Risks: Take risks, for example - ITV has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

  2. Future Earnings: How does ITV'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 LSE 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. 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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