Friday, 1 April 2022

Pilbara Minerals Limited's (ASX:PLS) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 23% Below Its Share Price


Does the April share price for Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX:PLS) reflect what it’s really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock’s intrinsic value by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today’s value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. 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. 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 Pilbara Minerals
The model
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, so we need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:
10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast






2022


2023


2024


2025


2026


2027


2028


2029


2030


2031




Levered FCF (A$, Millions)


AU$607.5m


AU$940.9m


AU$545.1m


AU$419.0m


AU$376.4m


AU$351.6m


AU$337.3m


AU$329.5m


AU$326.0m


AU$325.3m




Growth Rate Estimate Source


Analyst x2


Analyst x2


Analyst x2


Analyst x1


Est @ -10.17%


Est @ -6.58%


Est @ -4.07%


Est @ -2.31%


Est @ -1.07%


Est @ -0.21%




Present Value (A$, Millions) Discounted @ 6.4%


AU$571


AU$831


AU$453


AU$327


AU$276


AU$242


AU$219


AU$201


AU$187


AU$175





(“Est”=FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF)=AU$3.5b
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 1.8%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today’s value at a cost of equity of 6.4%.
Terminal Value (TV)=FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g)=AU$325m× (1 + 1.8%) ÷ (6.4%– 1.8%)=AU$7.2b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)=TV / (1 + r)10=AU$7.2b÷ ( 1 + 6.4%)10=AU$3.9b
The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is AU$7.4b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of AU$3.2, the company appears slightly overvalued at the time of writing. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula – garbage in, garbage out.






dcf

The 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 Pilbara Minerals 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 6.4%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.083. 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:
Although the valuation of a company is important, it ideally won’t be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for 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. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. What is the reason for the share price exceeding the intrinsic value? For Pilbara Minerals, there are three additional items you should further research:


Risks: Be aware that Pilbara Minerals is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about…


Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market’s sentiment for PLS’s future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.


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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the ASX 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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