Wednesday, 7 December 2016

DCF analysis is the most popular valuation methodology today. Growth (or lack of it) is an integral to a valuation exercise.

Discounted Cash Flow analysis to determine Intrinsic Value

The value of a business, a share of stock, or any other productive asset is the present value of its future cash flows.

Discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis (intrinsic value principle of John Burr Williams) is the most popular valuation methodology today.

Its popularity, however, hides the important reality that value is easier to define than to measure (easier said than done).

The tools Graham (margin of safety principle) and Fisher (business franchise principle) developed remain crucial in this exercise.

Value stocks versus Growth stocks:  this distinction has limited difference.

One hazard of undue reliance on DCF analysis is a temptation to classify stocks as either value stocks or growth stocks.  It is a distinction with limited difference.

Value a business (or any productive asset) requires estimating its probable future performance and discounting the results to present value.

The probable future performance includes whatever growth (or shrinkage) is assumed.

So growth (or lack of it) is integral to a valuation exercise.

Investing is the deliberate determination that one pays a price lower than the value being obtained.

Only speculators pay a price hoping that through growth the value rises above it.

Conventional Value Investing = low P/E, low P/BV and high DY companies

Value investing is conventionally defined as buying companies bearing low ratios of price-to-earnings, price-to-book value, or high dividend yields.

But these metrics do not by themselves make a company a value investment.  It is not that simple.

Nor does the absence of such metrics prevent an investment from bearing a sufficient margin of safety and qualitative virtues to justify its inclusion in a value investor's portfolio.

Growth doesn't equate directly with value either.

Growing earnings can mean growing value.

But growing earnings can also mean growing expenses, and sometimes expenses growing faster than revenues.

Growth adds value only when the payoff from growth (revenue) is greater than the cost of growth (expenses).

A company reinvesting a dollar of earnings to grow by 99 cents is not helping its shareholders and is not a value stock, though it may be a growth stock.

Read also:

Value Vs Growth

What drives the return of your stock investment, Growth or Value?

In our opinion, the two approaches (value and growth) are joined at the hip: Growth is always a component in the calculation of value, constituting a variable whose importance can range from negligible to enormous and whose impact can be negative as well as positive…In addition, we think the very term “value investing” is redundant. What is “investing” if it is not the act of seeking value at least sufficient to justify the amount paid?”      Warren Buffett Letters to investor, 1992.

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