A look at the intrinsic value of Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG)
How far is Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we’ll examine whether the stock price is fair by taking expected future cash flows and discounting them to today’s value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Believe it or not, it’s not too hard to follow, as you will see in our example!
We generally think of a business’s value as the present value of all the cash it will generate in the future. However, a DCF is only one evaluation measure among many, and it is not without its flaws. If you still have burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St.
Check out our latest analysis for Dollar General
We use what is called a two-step model, which simply means that we have two different periods of growth rate for the cash flow of the business. Usually the first stage is higher growth and the second stage is lower growth stage. To begin with, we need to estimate the next ten years of cash flow. Where possible, we use analyst estimates, but when these are not available, we extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the last estimate or stated value. We assume that companies with decreasing free cash flow will slow their rate of contraction, and companies with increasing free cash flow will see their growth rate slow during this period. We do this to reflect the fact that growth tends to slow down more in the early years than in subsequent years.
A DCF is based on the idea that a dollar in the future is worth less than a dollar today, and therefore the sum of those future cash flows is then discounted to today’s value. :
10-year Free Cash Flow (FCF) estimate
|Leverage FCF ($, Millions)||US $ 2.53 billion||US $ 1.97 billion||2.14 billion US dollars||US $ 2.27 billion||US $ 2.51 billion||2.69 billion US dollars||US $ 2.83 billion||US $ 2.95 billion||3.06 billion US dollars||3.15 billion US dollars|
|Source of estimated growth rate||Analyst x9||Analyst x8||Analyst x8||Analyst x4||Analyst x4||Analyst x3||Est at 5.19%||East @ 4.23%||East @ 3.56%||Est @ 3.09%|
|Present value (in millions of dollars) discounted at 6.6%||$ 2.4,000||US $ 1.7k||US $ 1.8k||US $ 1.8k||US $ 1.8k||US $ 1.8k||US $ 1.8k||US $ 1.8k||US $ 1.7k||US $ 1.7k|
(“East” = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
10-year present value of cash flows (PVCF) = US $ 18 billion
The second stage is also known as terminal value, this is the cash flow of the business after 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 used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (2.0%) to estimate future growth. Similar to the 10-year âgrowthâ period, we discount future cash flows to their present value, using a cost of equity of 6.6%.
Terminal value (TV)= FCF2030 Ã (1 + g) Ã· (r – g) = US $ 3.2B Ã (1 + 2.0%) Ã· (6.6% – 2.0%) = US $ 69B
Present value of terminal value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)ten= US $ 69 billion Ã· (1 + 6.6%)ten= 36 billion US dollars
The total value is the sum of the cash flows for the next ten years plus the final present value, which gives the total value of equity, which in this case is $ 54 billion. In the last step, we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. From the current share price of US $ 209, the company appears to be roughly at fair value at a 9.2% discount from the current share price. The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it’s best to take this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last penny.
We draw your attention to the fact that the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate and of course the actual cash flows. You don’t have to agree with these entries, I recommend that you redo the calculations yourself and play with them. The DCF also does not take into account the possible cyclicality of an industry or the future capital needs of a company, so it does not give a full picture of a company’s potential performance. Since we view Dollar General 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 takes debt into account. In this calculation, we used 6.6%, which is based on a leveraged beta of 0.987. Beta is a measure of the volatility of a stock relative to the market as a whole. We get our beta from the industry average beta from globally comparable companies, with a limit imposed between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.
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 business. It is not possible to achieve a rock-solid valuation with a DCF model. Instead, the best use of a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to undervaluation or overvaluation of the company. For example, changes in the company’s cost of equity or the risk-free rate can have a significant impact on valuation. For Dollar General, there are three relevant factors that you should investigate:
- Risks: You should be aware of the 2 warning signs for Dollar General we found out before considering an investment in the business.
- Management: Have insiders increased their shares to take advantage of market sentiment about DG’s future prospects? Check out our management and board analysis with information on CEO compensation and governance factors.
- Other strong companies: 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 trading fundamentals to see if there are other companies you may not have considered!
PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every US stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.
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This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell shares and does not take into account your goals or your financial situation. Our aim is to bring you long-term, targeted analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price sensitive companies or qualitative documents. Simply Wall St has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.
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