Monday, 9 February 2015

PE multiple is rooted in discounting theory

Valuation using multiples has its fundamentals rooted in discounting.  It is a shortcut to valuation.

In this method, all factors considered in a general DCF including cost of capital and growth rates are compressed in one figure, namely the multiple figure.  Multiples are also market-based.

Let's look at PE in detail.

PE =  Price / Earnings

= PE x Earnings
= Earnings / (1/PE)

Compare this with the time-value of money equation:

PV = FV / (1+r)^n

or the dividend growth model:

PV = Div1 / (r-g)

Thus a PE multiple of 5 should nearly imply a discount rate of 20%.

The same goes for other kinds of multiples used in the financial markets:
EV/EBITDA multiples
Price/Cash flow.

They are all short cuts for discounting.  The EBITDA, Sales and Cash flows are all proxies of the free cash flow.


A valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of an investment opportunity. Discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis uses future free cash flow projections and discounts them (most often using the weighted average cost of capital) to arrive at a present value, which is used to evaluate the potential for investment. If the value arrived at through DCF analysis is higher than the current cost of the investment, the opportunity may be a good one.
Calculated as:

Discounted Cash Flow (DCF)
Also known as the Discounted Cash Flows Model.

Reference:  Finance for Beginners  by Hafeez Kamaruzzaman

1 comment:

jeremy lizard said...

well all financial metrics anf formulae are base on the POWER OF COMPOUNDING
dcf is simply working backwards detrmining the present value of all future earnings/profits