The intrinsic value of Bunzl plc (LON: BNZL) is potentially 38% higher over its share price
Today we are going to review a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Bunzl plc (LON: BNZL) as an investment opportunity by estimating the future cash flows of the business and taking them into account. discounting to their present value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. Don’t be put off by the lingo, the math is actually pretty straightforward.
We draw your attention to the fact that there are many ways to assess a business and, like DCF, each technique has advantages and disadvantages in certain scenarios. If you want to know more about discounted cash flow, the rationale for this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St.
See our latest review for Bunzl
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 a lower growth stage. In the first step, we need to estimate the cash flow of the business over the next ten years. 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, so we discount the value of those future cash flows to their estimated value in today’s dollars. hui:
10-year Free Cash Flow (FCF) estimate
|Leverage FCF (£, Million)||United Kingdom £ 522.0m||United Kingdom £ 541.0 million||United Kingdom £ 611.0 million||United Kingdom £ 664.0 million||United Kingdom £ 701.4 million||United Kingdom £ 730.9 million||United Kingdom £ 754.4 million||United Kingdom £ 773.4 million||United Kingdom £ 789.2 million||United Kingdom £ 802.5 million|
|Source of growth rate estimate||Analyst x10||Analyst x10||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||East @ 5.63%||Is 4.21%||East @ 3.22%||Is 2.52%||East @ 2.04%||East @ 1.69%|
|Present value (£, millions) discounted at 7.2%||United Kingdom £ 487||United Kingdom £ 471||United Kingdom £ 496||United Kingdom £ 503||United Kingdom £ 495||United Kingdom £ 481||United Kingdom £ 463||United Kingdom £ 443||United Kingdom £ 422||United Kingdom £ 400|
(“East” = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
10-year present value of cash flows (PVCF) = £ 4.7 billion in the UK
After calculating the present value of future cash flows over the initial 10 year period, we need to calculate the terminal value, which takes into account all future cash flows beyond the first step. For a number of reasons, a very conservative growth rate is used which 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 (0.9%) to estimate future growth. Similar to the 10-year “growth” period, we discount future cash flows to their present value, using a cost of equity of 7.2%.
Terminal value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK £ 803m × (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (7.2% –0.9%) = UK £ 13b
Present value of terminal value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)ten= UK £ 13b ÷ (1 + 7.2%)ten= £ 6.4 billion in the UK
The total value is the sum of the cash flows for the next ten years plus the present terminal value, which gives the total value of equity, which in this case is £ 11 billion. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide it by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of UK £ 24.0, the company appears to be slightly undervalued with a 28% discount to 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.
Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate and, of course, the actual cash flow. Part of investing is coming up with your own assessment of a company’s future performance, so try the math yourself and check your own assumptions. 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 Bunzl 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 7.2%, which is based on a leveraged beta of 1.290. Beta is a measure of the volatility of a stock relative to the market as a whole. We get our average beta from the industry beta of comparable companies globally, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable company.
To move on :
Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and ideally, it won’t be the only piece of analysis you look at for a business. It is not possible to achieve a rock-solid valuation with a DCF model. Preferably, you would apply different cases and assumptions and see their impact on the valuation of the business. If a business grows at a different rate, or if its cost of equity or risk-free rate changes sharply, output can be very different. What is the reason why the stock price is below intrinsic value? For Bunzl, we’ve compiled three important aspects that you should dig deeper into:
- Risks: For example, we discovered 2 warning signs for Bunzl which you should know before investing here.
- Future benefits: How does BNZL’s growth rate compare to that of its peers and the broader market? Dig deeper into the analyst consensus number for years to come by interacting with our free analyst growth expectations chart.
- 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 might not have considered!
PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every UK stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.
This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts using only unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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 material. Simply Wall St has no position in the mentioned stocks.
Do you have any feedback on this item? Are you worried about the content? Get in touch with us directly. You can also send an email to the editorial team (at) simplywallst.com.