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Harsco Corporation's (NYSE:HSC) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 22% Below Its Share Price

·5 min read

How far off is Harsco Corporation (NYSE:HSC) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

Check out our latest analysis for Harsco

The Method

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 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) estimate

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$46.1m

US$40.7m

US$38.7m

US$37.6m

US$37.1m

US$36.9m

US$37.0m

US$37.3m

US$37.7m

US$38.3m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x5

Analyst x1

Est @ -4.9%

Est @ -2.85%

Est @ -1.41%

Est @ -0.41%

Est @ 0.3%

Est @ 0.79%

Est @ 1.13%

Est @ 1.38%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 10%

US$41.7

US$33.4

US$28.7

US$25.3

US$22.6

US$20.4

US$18.5

US$16.9

US$15.5

US$14.2

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$237m

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. 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 1.9%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 10%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$38m× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (10%– 1.9%) = US$460m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$460m÷ ( 1 + 10%)10= US$171m

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is US$408m. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$6.6, the company appears slightly overvalued at the time of writing. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

dcf
dcf

The Assumptions

We would point out that the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate and of course the actual cash flows. If you don't agree with these result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the 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 Harsco 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%, which is based on a levered beta of 2.000. 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.

Next Steps:

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. What is the reason for the share price exceeding the intrinsic value? For Harsco, we've put together three additional aspects you should look at:

  1. Risks: Be aware that Harsco is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...

  2. Future Earnings: How does HSC'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.

  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.

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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