Are Investors Undervaluing First Majestic Silver Corp. (TSE:FR) By 29%?

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of First Majestic Silver Corp. (TSE:FR) as an investment opportunity by projecting its future cash flows and then 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.

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.

See our latest analysis for First Majestic Silver

The model

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 begin with, we have to get estimates of 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)

US$208.5m

US$228.2m

US$242.5m

US$254.2m

US$264.0m

US$272.4m

US$279.6m

US$286.1m

US$292.1m

US$297.7m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x3

Analyst x1

Est @ 6.26%

Est @ 4.84%

Est @ 3.85%

Est @ 3.15%

Est @ 2.67%

Est @ 2.33%

Est @ 2.09%

Est @ 1.92%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.6%

US$196

US$201

US$200

US$197

US$192

US$186

US$179

US$172

US$165

US$158

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$1.8b

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 1.5%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.6%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$298m× (1 + 1.5%) ÷ (6.6%– 1.5%) = US$6.0b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$6.0b÷ ( 1 + 6.6%)10= US$3.2b

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$5.0b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of CA$17.6, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 29% discount to where the stock price trades currently. 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.

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Important 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 First Majestic Silver 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 6.6%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.068. 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.

Looking Ahead:

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. 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 discount to intrinsic value? For First Majestic Silver, we've put together three pertinent factors you should look at:

  1. Risks: We feel that you should assess the 3 warning signs for First Majestic Silver we've flagged before making an investment in the company.

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

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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