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Are Algoma Central Corporation (TSE:ALC) Investors Paying Above The Intrinsic Value?

Key Insights

  • The projected fair value for Algoma Central is CA$12.18 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity

  • Algoma Central is estimated to be 25% overvalued based on current share price of CA$15.26

  • The CA$23.50 analyst price target for ALC is 93% more than our estimate of fair value

Does the May share price for Algoma Central Corporation (TSE:ALC) 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. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for Algoma Central

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. To begin with, we have to get estimates of the next ten years of cash flows. Seeing as no analyst estimates of free cash flow are available to us, we have extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the company's last 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) estimate

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

Levered FCF (CA$, Millions)

CA$45.4m

CA$40.3m

CA$37.3m

CA$35.6m

CA$34.6m

CA$34.2m

CA$34.0m

CA$34.1m

CA$34.4m

CA$34.7m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Est @ -16.93%

Est @ -11.31%

Est @ -7.38%

Est @ -4.63%

Est @ -2.70%

Est @ -1.35%

Est @ -0.40%

Est @ 0.26%

Est @ 0.72%

Est @ 1.04%

Present Value (CA$, Millions) Discounted @ 8.6%

CA$41.8

CA$34.2

CA$29.1

CA$25.6

CA$22.9

CA$20.8

CA$19.1

CA$17.6

CA$16.3

CA$15.2

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CA$243m

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 (1.8%) 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 8.6%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CA$35m× (1 + 1.8%) ÷ (8.6%– 1.8%) = CA$519m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CA$519m÷ ( 1 + 8.6%)10= CA$227m

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 CA$470m. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of CA$15.3, the company appears slightly overvalued at the time of writing. Valuations are imprecise instruments though, rather like a telescope - move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Do keep this in mind.

dcf
dcf

The Assumptions

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 Algoma Central 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 8.6%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.146. 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.

SWOT Analysis for Algoma Central

Strength

  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.

  • Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.

  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.

Weakness

  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Shipping market.

  • Current share price is above our estimate of fair value.

  • Shareholders have been diluted in the past year.

Opportunity

  • Annual revenue is forecast to grow faster than the Canadian market.

Threat

  • Revenue is forecast to grow slower than 20% per year.

Looking Ahead:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a premium to intrinsic value? For Algoma Central, we've compiled three additional items you should further research:

  1. Risks: For example, we've discovered 4 warning signs for Algoma Central 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 ALC's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.

  3. 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!

PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every Canadian stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock 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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