Is There An Opportunity With Continental Aktiengesellschaft's (ETR:CON) 45% Undervaluation?
Does the January share price for Continental Aktiengesellschaft (ETR:CON) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. One way to achieve this is by employing 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. If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the rationale behind this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model.
View our latest analysis for Continental
What's The Estimated Valuation?
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. 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.
Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, 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
Levered FCF (€, Millions)
Growth Rate Estimate Source
Est @ 5.02%
Est @ 3.52%
Est @ 2.47%
Est @ 1.74%
Est @ 1.23%
Est @ 0.87%
Est @ 0.62%
Present Value (€, Millions) Discounted @ 9.8%
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = €13b
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 0.03%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 9.8%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = €2.4b× (1 + 0.03%) ÷ (9.8%– 0.03%) = €25b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= €25b÷ ( 1 + 9.8%)10= €9.8b
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 €23b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of €62.6, the company appears quite undervalued at a 45% 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.
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 Continental 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 9.8%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.625. 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 Continental
No major strengths identified for CON.
Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Auto Components market.
Expected to breakeven next year.
Has sufficient cash runway for more than 3 years based on current free cash flows.
Good value based on P/S ratio and estimated fair value.
Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow.
Paying a dividend but company is unprofitable.
Whilst important, the DCF calculation shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching 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 instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Continental, we've compiled three additional elements you should further research:
Risks: Case in point, we've spotted 2 warning signs for Continental you should be aware of.
Future Earnings: How does CON'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!
PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every German 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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here