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Is ITV plc (LON:ITV) Trading At A 39% Discount?

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of ITV plc (LON:ITV) as an investment opportunity by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

We generally believe that a company's value is the present value of all of the cash it will generate in the future. However, a DCF is just one valuation metric among many, and it is not without flaws. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for ITV

The Method

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.

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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£308.6m

UK£320.1m

UK£360.0m

UK£361.0m

UK£362.7m

UK£365.0m

UK£367.7m

UK£370.7m

UK£373.9m

UK£377.3m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x7

Analyst x7

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Est @ 0.48%

Est @ 0.63%

Est @ 0.74%

Est @ 0.81%

Est @ 0.87%

Est @ 0.90%

Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 7.5%

UK£287

UK£277

UK£290

UK£270

UK£252

UK£236

UK£221

UK£207

UK£194

UK£182

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£2.4b

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. 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 1.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 7.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£377m× (1 + 1.0%) ÷ (7.5%– 1.0%) = UK£5.8b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£5.8b÷ ( 1 + 7.5%)10= UK£2.8b

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£5.2b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£0.8, the company appears quite undervalued at a 39% 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

The 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 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 7.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.955. 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 ITV

Strength

  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded its 5-year average.

  • Debt is well covered by earnings.

Weakness

  • Earnings growth over the past year underperformed the Media industry.

  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Media market.

Opportunity

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

Threat

  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow.

  • Dividends are not covered by cash flow.

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

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. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. 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. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For ITV, we've put together three pertinent aspects you should further research:

  1. Risks: Take risks, for example - ITV has 3 warning signs (and 2 which are significant) we think you should know about.

  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 High Quality Alternatives: Do you like a good all-rounder? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!

PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every British stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock 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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