NASDAQ:BIDU) by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today’s value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Before you think you won’t be able to understand it, just read on! It’s actually much less complex than you’d imagine.” data-reactid=”28″>In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today’s value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Before you think you won’t be able to understand it, just read on! It’s actually much less complex than you’d imagine.
Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.” data-reactid=”29″>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. 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 Baidu ” data-reactid=”30″> View our latest analysis for Baidu
We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second ‘steady growth’ period. 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) forecast
|Levered FCF (CN¥, Millions)||CN¥25.4b||CN¥30.8b||CN¥38.3b||CN¥46.8b||CN¥53.1b||CN¥58.4b||CN¥62.9b||CN¥66.7b||CN¥70.0b||CN¥72.9b|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x6||Analyst x6||Analyst x2||Analyst x1||Est @ 13.45%||Est @ 10.08%||Est @ 7.72%||Est @ 6.07%||Est @ 4.92%||Est @ 4.11%|
|Present Value (CN¥, Millions) Discounted @ 11%||CN¥22.9k||CN¥24.9k||CN¥27.9k||CN¥30.6k||CN¥31.3k||CN¥30.9k||CN¥30.0k||CN¥28.6k||CN¥27.0k||CN¥25.3k|
The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business’s cash flow after 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 2.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today’s value at a cost of equity of 11%.
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 CN¥568b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$124, the company appears quite good value at a 48% discount to where the stock price trades currently. The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it is better to view this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last cent.
Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual 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 Baidu 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 11%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.225. 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.
Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess 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. 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 Baidu, there are three additional items you should further examine:
- Risks: You should be aware of the 3 warning signs for Baidu we’ve uncovered before considering an investment in the company.
- Future Earnings: How does BIDU’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.
- 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!
search here.” data-reactid=”70″>PS. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the NASDAQGS every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.
Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email [email protected].” data-reactid=”71″>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.