# An Intrinsic Calculation For RPS Group plc (LON:RPS) Suggests It's 50% Undervalued

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of RPS Group plc (LON:RPS) by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.

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 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 RPS Group

### The model

We use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of growth rates for the company's cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a lower growth phase. 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.

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

 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 Levered FCF (£, Millions) -UK£19.0m UK£17.4m UK£21.8m UK£25.1m UK£27.8m UK£29.9m UK£31.6m UK£32.9m UK£34.0m UK£34.9m Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x2 Analyst x3 Analyst x3 Est @ 14.85% Est @ 10.66% Est @ 7.73% Est @ 5.67% Est @ 4.24% Est @ 3.23% Est @ 2.52% Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 6.0% -UK£17.9 UK£15.5 UK£18.3 UK£19.8 UK£20.7 UK£21.0 UK£21.0 UK£20.6 UK£20.1 UK£19.4

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£158m

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after 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 (0.9%) 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 6.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£35m× (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (6.0%– 0.9%) = UK£682m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£682m÷ ( 1 + 6.0%)10= UK£379m

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is UK£537m. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of UK£1.0, the company appears quite good value at a 50% 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.

### The 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 RPS 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 6.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.066. 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.

### Moving On:

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. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or overvalued. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For RPS Group, there are three further items you should consider:

1. Risks: You should be aware of the 1 warning sign for RPS Group we've uncovered before considering an investment in the company.

2. Future Earnings: How does RPS'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 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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the LSE every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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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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