Calculating The Intrinsic Value Of Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:ABG)

Does the June share price for Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:ABG) 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. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. Models like these may appear beyond the comprehension of a lay person, but they’re fairly easy to follow.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company’s value, and a DCF is just one method. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for Asbury Automotive Group

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 discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today’s dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$288.0m

US$117.5m

US$287.8m

US$259.5m

US$304.3m

US$337.2m

US$364.7m

US$387.8m

US$407.2m

US$424.0m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Analyst x1

Est @ 10.82%

Est @ 8.17%

Est @ 6.32%

Est @ 5.02%

Est @ 4.11%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 10.0%

US$262

US$97.1

US$216

US$177

US$189

US$191

US$187

US$181

US$173

US$164

(“Est” = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$1.8b

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. 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 have used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (2.0%) to estimate future growth. In the same way as with the 10-year ‘growth’ period, we discount future cash flows to today’s value, using a cost of equity of 10.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$424m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (10.0%– 2.0%) = US$5.4b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$5.4b÷ ( 1 + 10.0%)10= US$2.1b

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$3.9b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$158, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 22% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula – garbage in, garbage out.

dcf

Important assumptions

Now 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 inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. 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 Asbury Automotive 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 10.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.693. 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.

Looking Ahead:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation 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. Rather it should be seen as a guide to “what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?” For example, changes in the company’s cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For Asbury Automotive Group, we’ve compiled three pertinent aspects you should explore:

  1. Risks: For example, we’ve discovered 1 warning sign for Asbury Automotive Group that you should be aware of before investing here.

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

  3. 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. 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 (at) simplywallst.com.

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