UK Markets close in 6 hrs 56 mins
  • FTSE 100

    6,537.58
    +47.31 (+0.73%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    20,173.12
    +40.68 (+0.20%)
     
  • AIM

    1,068.99
    +2.78 (+0.26%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1041
    -0.0032 (-0.29%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3428
    -0.0025 (-0.1826%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    14,408.34
    +92.56 (+0.65%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    380.92
    +6.52 (+1.74%)
     
  • S&P 500

    3,666.72
    -2.29 (-0.06%)
     
  • DOW

    29,969.52
    +85.73 (+0.29%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    46.55
    +0.91 (+1.99%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,845.30
    +4.20 (+0.23%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    26,751.24
    -58.13 (-0.22%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    26,835.92
    +107.42 (+0.40%)
     
  • DAX

    13,249.83
    -3.03 (-0.02%)
     
  • CAC 40

    5,597.23
    +22.87 (+0.41%)
     

Warner Music Group Corp.'s (NASDAQ:WMG) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 37% Above Its Share Price

Simply Wall St
·6-min read

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Warner Music Group Corp. (NASDAQ:WMG) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Models like these may appear beyond the comprehension of a lay person, but they're fairly easy to follow.

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the rationale behind this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for Warner Music Group

The calculation

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. To start off with, we need to estimate 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.

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

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$336.2m

US$605.8m

US$775.3m

US$1.02b

US$1.21b

US$1.37b

US$1.51b

US$1.63b

US$1.73b

US$1.81b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x6

Analyst x4

Analyst x3

Analyst x2

Est @ 18.34%

Est @ 13.5%

Est @ 10.12%

Est @ 7.75%

Est @ 6.09%

Est @ 4.93%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.7%

US$309

US$512

US$603

US$731

US$796

US$830

US$841

US$833

US$813

US$784

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$7.1b

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 2.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 8.7%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.8b× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (8.7%– 2.2%) = US$28b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$28b÷ ( 1 + 8.7%)10= US$12b

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 US$19b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$27.6, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 27% 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

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. 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 Warner Music Group 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 8.7%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.086. 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:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and 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?" For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Warner Music Group, we've compiled three fundamental elements you should look at:

  1. Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Warner Music Group (at least 1 which shouldn't be ignored) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

  2. Future Earnings: How does WMG'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. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every American stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.