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Does This Valuation Of Forestar Group Inc. (NYSE:FOR) Imply Investors Are Overpaying?

Key Insights

  • Forestar Group's estimated fair value is US$24.23 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity

  • Forestar Group's US$32.35 share price signals that it might be 33% overvalued

  • Our fair value estimate is 40% lower than Forestar Group's analyst price target of US$40.50

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Forestar Group Inc. (NYSE:FOR) as an investment opportunity by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them 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!

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.

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View our latest analysis for Forestar Group

The Calculation

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. 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 need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

2033

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$133.0m

US$76.0m

US$75.4m

US$75.4m

US$76.0m

US$76.9m

US$78.1m

US$79.5m

US$81.0m

US$82.6m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Est @ -0.85%

Est @ 0.09%

Est @ 0.75%

Est @ 1.21%

Est @ 1.54%

Est @ 1.76%

Est @ 1.92%

Est @ 2.03%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.2%

US$123

US$64.9

US$59.4

US$55.0

US$51.2

US$47.8

US$44.9

US$42.2

US$39.7

US$37.5

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$565m

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 (2.3%) 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 8.2%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$83m× (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (8.2%– 2.3%) = US$1.4b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$1.4b÷ ( 1 + 8.2%)10= US$644m

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$1.2b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$32.4, the company appears potentially overvalued at the time of writing. The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it is better to view this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last cent.

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. 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 Forestar 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 8.2%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.293. 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 Forestar Group

Strength

  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.

  • Debt is not viewed as a risk.

Weakness

  • Earnings growth over the past year is below its 5-year average.

Opportunity

  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow for the next 3 years.

  • Good value based on P/E ratio compared to estimated Fair P/E ratio.

Threat

  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. 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. 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. Why is the intrinsic value lower than the current share price? For Forestar Group, we've compiled three essential elements you should further research:

  1. Risks: For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Forestar Group that you should be aware of.

  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for FOR'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.

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.