Multiple Based Valuation Part I UNM Lecture 10-08

Multiple Based Valuation, I
Alexander Motola, CFA
Alexander Motola, 2013
What is “Valuation”?
It is NOT the stock price
It is NOT the market capitalization
Is a $50 stock expensive?
◦ What if it was $25 3 months ago?
◦ Is a $1MM home expensive?
 What if costs $5MM to build and is right on the
beach in Maui?
◦ Price ≠ Valuation
 Price is an important COMPONENT of valuation,
but you need more information
Alexander Motola, 2013
What is “Valuation”?
Is a $50 stock expensive?
◦ What if it was $25 3 months ago?
◦ What if it’s worth $150?
 To get to $150 from $25, it’s still got to go through
$50, $75 (still a double!), etc.
Saying a stock is cheap because it went
down, or expensive because it went up
◦ Is uninformed
◦ Is to focus on the irrelevant
◦ Will end your analyst job interview
Alexander Motola, 2013
What is “Valuation”?
Major classifications of multiples
Price multiples – ratios of a stock’s
market price to some measure of
fundamental value per share
Enterprise value multiples – relate the
total market value of all sources of a
company’s capital to a measure of
fundamental value for the entire company
Alexander Motola, 2013
Valuation Framework
In relative valuation (i.e. the multiples approach), the objective is to value assets based
on how similar assets are currently priced in the market.
This idea is widely used in the real estate market – price per square foot, price per acre, how much
my neighbor’s house just sold for…
While multiples are easy to use and intuitive, they are also easy to misuse.
There are two components to relative valuation:
To value assets on a relative basis, prices have to be standardized, usually by converting prices into
multiples of earnings, book values, or sales.
To find similar firms. This is difficult to do since no two firms are identical and firms in the same
business can still differ on risk, growth potential, and cash flows.
Alexander Motola, 2013
Valuation Framework
The strengths of relative valuation are also its weaknesses:
◦ The ease with which a relative valuation can be put together, pulling together a multiple and
a group of comparable firms, can also result in inconsistent estimates of value where key
variables such as risk, growth, or cash flow potential are ignored.
◦ The fact that multiples reflect the market mood also implies that using relative valuation to
estimate the value of an asset can result in values that are too high when the market is
overvaluing comparable firms, or too low when it is undervaluing these firms.
◦ While there is scope for bias in any type of valuation, the lack of transparency regarding the
underlying assumptions in relative valuations make them particularly vulnerable to
Alexander Motola, 2013
Valuation Framework
In absolute valuation (using multiples or discounted
approach), the objective is to value assets based on how
much investors have paid for the company in the past and
handicapping it vis-à-vis it’s growth prospects
◦ Some industries don’t easily lend themselves to finding “comps”
There are two components to this valuation approach:
◦ Having a robust data set of historical multiples
◦ Having an understanding about how the company is similar and
different to its own past, and being able to correctly adjust the
multiple for these
Alexander Motola, 2013
Fridson & Alvarez, Ch 8
“Net income was not, to the disappointment of
analysts, a standard by which every company’s value
and risk could be compared. Had they thought
deeply about the problem, they might have
hypothesized that no single measure could
capture financial performance
comprehensively enough to fulfill such a role.
Instead, they set off in quest of the single
correct measure of corporate profitability,
believing in its existence as resolutely as the
conquistadors who went in search of El Dorado.”
Pg 161
Alexander Motola, 2013
Fridson & Alvarez, Ch 8
◦ Net Income is just 1 measure of profitability,
and thus the basis of just a few of the many
possible methods of valuing a company
◦ Choose the best tool for the job; one size
does not fit all
◦ To help get closer to our goal of valuing a
company, we need to be able to compare
what we pay to some measure of
corporate performance, preferably one
that is forward looking
Alexander Motola, 2013
Fridson & Alvarez, Ch 8
Page 162 – Exhibit 8.1
◦ 2 companies, $28.6mm and $33.0mm in Net
Income but equal Operating Income
◦ Different Capital Structures, leads to different
NI; in this case, interest expense (and thus
taxes) are the difference
EBIT is ALMOST the same as OI
EBITDA is used as a proxy for cash flow
(and is often thus seen as “conservative”
even though that is misleading)
Alexander Motola, 2013
Fridson & Alvarez, Ch 8
EBITDA is a pro-forma NI/SCF # that is
most often used to create comparability
across different capital structures
 D & A (and Depletion) are “real”
expenses, but they are usually paid at one
time, and often not in the period being
analyzed; the “E” in EBITDA is
“EARNINGS” which means an accrual
based number is the basis, not a cash
based number
Alexander Motola, 2013
Fridson & Alvarez, Ch 8
EBITDA is a pro-forma NI/SCF # that is
most often used to create comparability
across different capital structures
 D & A (and Depletion) are “real”
expenses, but they are usually paid at one
time, and often not in the period being
analyzed; the “E” in EBITDA is
“EARNINGS” which means an accrual
based number is the basis, not a cash
based number
Alexander Motola, 2013
Fridson & Alvarez, Ch 14
- P/E Ratio (pages 313-323)
Pg 314: P/E ratio =
(stock price)/ (Earnings per Share)
 Wolfe Food
Stock Price $50
Net Income: $45mm
Shares Out: 10MM
EPS: $4.50 ($45MM/10MM) or (Net Income
divided by Shares Out)
◦ $50/$4.50 = 11.1X (Stock Price divided by
Earnings per Share)
Alexander Motola, 2013
Price Earnings Ratio
Earnings easily manipulated by management (extensively covered in prior lectures)
Earnings generally serve as a proxy for cash flow; most sophisticated market participants
prefer P/CF to P/E ratios
For a lot of reasons, it is easier to forecast “E” than “CF”
P/E does not distinguish between accounting choices or financing options
Over long periods (10 years), the market p/e tends to mean reversion – “the P/E ratio was
negatively correlated with subsequent stock price growth but uncorrelated with subsequent
earnings growth.” (Campbell and Shiller, 1998)
A low p/e strategy works much better for large capitalization stocks than for low capitalization
stocks (low relative to the market & peers; low relative to its growth potential; low relative to its
own history) – see the point above
Alexander Motola, 2013
Price Earnings Ratio
The “P” is obvious
Which “E” do you use?
• For companies with no/low growth or for greater certainty, using trailing earnings
makes sense (actual earnings)
• For companies that are growing, the current year or “the out year” makes sense
• For some companies, you might be willing to go further out, but you also need to
“handicap” the multiple you’d be willing to pay
• How much do you adjust the “E”?
Alexander Motola, 2013
Price Earnings Ratio
Rationales for using the P/E
◦ Earnings drive stock prices
◦ It is widely recognized and used by investors, both retail and
◦ There is an intuitive basis for this (P is P, and earnings should be
profits available to common shareholders)
◦ It should be RELATIVELY comparable to other methods unless
there is an anomaly
◦ Assuming no growth, a P/E represents the # of years of earnings
(not cash) payback to an investor; this can also be expressed as
an Earnings Yield: E/P
Alexander Motola, 2013
Price Earnings Ratio
EPS can be zero, negative, or insignificantly small relative to price, and P/E does not make economic sense under these
Your “E” is materially impacted by financial leverage
The ongoing or recurring components of earnings that are most important in determining intrinsic value can be practically
difficult to distinguish from transient components
Differences in accounting standards adopted by firms may affect the comparability of P/Es among companies
Fundamental factors that could explain differences in P/Es
Growth in EPS: companies with a higher growth rate are expected to have higher P/Es
Risk (measured by beta or leverage): companies with lower risk can have higher P/Es
Alexander Motola, 2013
Price Earnings Growth Ratio
Comparing the P/E to the Earnings Growth Rate would
appear to address one of P/E’s shortcomings
For Example, Wolfe, with a P/E of 11.1 X (see example),
is growing EPS @ 15%
◦ 11.1 / 15 = 74%
◦ 74% is a discount to its growth rate – that “should” be a bargain
◦ This over simplifies the process of analyzing valuation; now you have to a pick
the right “E” and the right “G”; it also assumes that a 1:1 ratio is “fair value”, and
that remains true at the extremes
Alexander Motola, 2013
Price Earnings Growth Ratio
A good tool for evaluating the “research worthiness” of potential research, but a poor valuation technique for
individual securities
Supplemental tests indicate that analysts appear to value and recommend stocks based on heuristics such as
the PEG ratio – versus using a cash flow or residual income based approach
“given the lack of any meaningful statistical correlation between P/E ratios and EPS growth rates, the use of P/E
to growth rate as a valuation tool appears to offer no real benefit to the investor” - (Networking Industry Report,
“Does Valuation Matter?”, Johnson and Silverstein, Robertson Stephens & Company, June 16, 1997)
Profit Margins
“History shows using high profit margins as the only determinant in buying a stock will lead to disappointing
results.” WWOWS
Alexander Motola, 2013
Valuation and Earnings Growth
• “Notwithstanding the fascination of Wall Street with EPS growth rates, there
is neither a statistical relationship nor a common sensible relationship
between EPS growth rates and stock prices” (Paul Johnson, “Does Valuation
Matter?”, Robertson Stephens & Company, June 16, 1997
• “There is a widespread belief among market participants that future earnings
growth is highly predictable” – Chan, Karceski, Lakonishok, but “there is
essentially no persistence or predictability in growth of earnings across all
• When comparing estimates to realized results, “median forecast exceed
median realized growth rates, with the most pronounced bias [coming from
the companies with the highest estimated growth rates].”
Price to Book Ratio
Price to Book
• “Book” is “Book Value Per Share”; this is Shareholder’s Equity, or
“What’s Left” if you remember the Balance Sheet lecture
• Book equity easily manipulated. Assets are not marked to market value
but cost. Asset impairments and other charges can have a material
effect on Book value.
•Impairments, write downs, buybacks, dividends all impact BV
• BV can be adjusted by the analyst, but there are many unknowns
• Low P/B tends to outperform the general stock universe, but has a lot of
volatility (standard deviation of returns) (WWOWS)
• Book Value was popularized by the Buffet/Graham school of investing,
during a period when it was possible to buy many firms at an extreme
discount to BV; Buffet regularly discusses Book Value Growth in his
Shareholder Letters
Price to Book Ratio
• Most useful for valuing companies composed chiefly of liquid assets,
such as finance, investment, insurance, and banking institutions
Rationales for using the P/B
• Because book value is a cumulative balance sheet amount, book
value is generally positive even when EPS is zero or negative
• Book value per share is more stable than EPS. May be more
meaningful than P/E when EPS is abnormally high or low or is
highly variable
Price to Book Ratio
• Some assets (e.g., human capital, company reputation) are not
reflected on the balance sheet
• P/B may be misleading when the levels of assets used by the
companies under examination differ significantly. Such differences
may reflect differences in business models.
• Accounting effects on book value may compromise how useful
book value is as a measure of the shareholders’ investment in the
• e.g. Intangible assets that are acquired are shown on the
books; those that are generated internally are not (R&D,
advertising, marketing are expensed not capitalized)
• Book value largely reflects the historical purchase cost of assets,
net of accumulated depreciation. Significant differences in the
average age of assets among companies being compared may
weaken the comparability of P/Bs among companies
• Share repurchases or issuances may distort historical comparisons
Price to Sales
• The ratio of the market value to annual net sales
• Useful for certain stocks: cyclicals, supercyclicals, and contrarian
• Most useful for valuing certain types of privately held companies,
including investment management companies and many types of
companies in partnership form
• Appropriate for valuing the stocks of mature, cyclical, and zero-income
• Rationales for using the P/S
• Sales are generally less subject to distortion or manipulation than
are other fundamentals, such as EPS or book value
• Sales are positive even when EPS is negative
• P/S is generally more stable than P/E
• Can be used to “normalize” margins for cyclical companies
• Most effective SINGLE valuation factor (WWOWS)
Price to Sales
• A business may show high growth in sales even when it is not
operating profitably as judged by earnings and cash flows from
• Sales is a pre-financing income measure while share price reflects
the effect of debt financing
• P/S does not reflect differences in cost structures among different
• Although P/S is relatively robust with respect to manipulation,
revenue recognition practices have the potential to distort P/S
Relationship of P/S to P/E
• If you assume a given net margin for a company (5%, for example),
you can convert P/S to P/E, and vice-versa
• If the P/S is 4, and the net margin is 5%, the equivalent P/E would
be 80 (4 * (100%/5%))
• If the P/E is 20, and net margin is 10%, then P/S = 2; (10%/100%) *
Enterprise Value to EBITDA
The ratio of the enterprise value to EBITDA
• EV = MV of Equity + MV of Debt + MV of Pref Shares – Cash and
• EV is the total value of the firm if the capital structure were to
be “flattened”
• EBITDA = Net income + Interest expense + Taxes + Depreciation +
• Alternative denominators: EBITA, EBIT
• Frequently used in the valuation of capital intensive businesses such as
cable companies and steel companies
• Rationales for using the EV/EBITDA
• EV/EBITDA is usually more appropriate than P/E alone for
comparing companies with different levels of debt. EBITDA is a preinterest earnings figure; EPS is post-interest
• EBITDA controls for differences in depreciation and amortization
among business, in contrast to net income.
• EBITDA is frequently positive when EPS is negative
Enterprise Value to EBITDA
• EBITDA will overestimate cash flow from operations if working
capital is growing.
• Free cash flow to the firm (FCFF), which directly reflects the
amount of the company’s required capital expenditures, has a
stronger link to valuation theory than does EBITDA
Fundamental factors that could explain differences in EV/EBITDA
• Return on Capital
• Growth in FCFF
• Risk (as measured by WACC)
Other Approaches
Enterprise Value to Sales (EV/Sales)
• The ratio of the enterprise value to sales
• Alternative sales-based ratio that is particularly useful when comparing
companies with diverse capital structures
Dividend Discount Model
• P= D / (r-g); P = price, D = next annual dividend, r = WACE, g =
perpetual growth in dividends
• Theoretically perfect (a stock’s value ideally would be the discount value
of all future dividend payments), but only P and probably D are really
known, the other 2 numbers are estimates, and the model is very
sensitive to them
“Trading on Yield”
• A very market based approach based on the trade off between stocks
and the fixed income market
• Only useful for companies who enjoy perceived safety and consistency
of dividend payments
Other Approaches
Discounted Cash Flow (DCF)
• Net Present Value (NPV, or the “current value”) is equal to the
sum of all future projected cash flows, which have been
• Similar to the DDM, and also very, very sensitive to the inputs
used, especially the selection of the discount rate
• Often used academically
• It is very easy to “reverse engineer” the target price you are
looking for
• Not a relative measure of value, but one that focuses on intrinsic
• It is difficult to project cash flows, particularly the timing of big
• The longer your intended investment horizon, the better a DCF
How do we use multiples?
Compare with a firm’s historical multiples
Compare with sector multiples
Compare as a ratio to the S&P multiple
Compare to the company’s history
Adjust/handicap for circumstances
• Sum-of-the-parts valuation
How do we use multiples?
• Once you have selected the best approach
to value your company, you will want to
compare its valuation on that basis with the
market, with its competitors/industry peers,
and its own history
• You will definitely want to use more than 1
measure of valuation, but there should be a
“primary” approach that is used to calculate
your target price
How do we use multiples?
Like any other part of investment analysis, we bring our own thoughts to
the table, and rely on what makes sense to us
• Management cannot do much (in the short run) about the numerator, so
• They focus on the denominator
• If they can convince analysts/investors to use a more favorable
calculation for earnings, ebitda, etc. then their stock either looks
cheap or can support a higher multiple
• This is also why the focus on convincing the market of their “growth
• When someone says “XYZ Corp is trading at 20 times”, they are
almost always referring to the P/E ratio, and most likely forward
Calculating Your Target Price
• Let’s suppose you think XYZ should trade at 15x
FORWARD earnings
• You’ve modeled their EPS to be, starting with this
• $1.00 CFY, $1.16 NFY, $1.32 NFY+1
• You have 3 “forward earnings” numbers
• You should be more confident in your
projections the closer they are to today
• I would use 15 (multiple) * $1.32 (NFY+1 EPS
Projection) = $19.80, and hope the stock could get
there in 1-1.5 years
Calculating Your Target Price
• If [($19.80 / current price) – 1] is not greater than
the expected market return over my holding
period, than I definitely am not interested in buying
• If my stock pays a dividend, and I expected to
receive one or more payments over my holding
period, then I can add that to my target price
• The riskier my stock is or the more uncertain
my earnings estimates are, the higher my
return needs to be
• If the market averages 9% a year, and my
holding period is 1.5 years, then my base
hurdle rate should be 13.8% = [(1+.09)^1.5]
• The market return has a beta of 1. My stock
has a market risk of its beta (relative to the
market) PLUS specific equity risk.
TRACKING Your Target Price
XYZ EPS est: $1.00 CFY, $1.16 NFY, $1.32 NFY+1
• What if XYZ finishes the CFY with EPS of $1.05?
• If the factors that drive your model are doing better,
you might (or the next analyst on your stock) need
to revise your future estimates (and thus TP) higher
• If something else is causing better than expected
EPS, you need to examine the sustainability and
impact (ONNN: buybacks, deleveraging)
• What if they do $0.97?
• Since the P/E (or most multiples) contemplates the
growth rate among other factors, do these events
also change what you are willing to pay? Multiples
go up when thing are BTE, and down when they
are Worse Than Expected, so it’s a “Double
Surprise! Higher Dividends
= Higher Earnings Growth
• Companies with higher dividend payout ratios have
generated higher earnings growth rates over
subsequent ten-year periods.
• Companies with lower payout ratios (in the bottom
quartile) actually generated negative real earnings
growth over the next ten years.
• The data was robust and consistent for all ten-year
periods dating from 1871 to 2001.
Source: Robert D. Arnott and Clifford S. Asness, Financial Analysts Journal January / February 2003
Valuation Tools / “Alpha Factors”
Low P/E
Earnings Growth
Price to Book
Price to Sales
Capital Returns (ROE, ROIC)
Dividend Yield
Profit Margins
Price to Cash Flow
PEG Ratio
Valuation as an Explanatory Factor
Results of Merrill Lynch study
(Examining the Effectiveness of Valuation Metrics, Milunovich, 9/24/02)
• Valuation metrics explained only a small percentage of stock price
• The valuation ratios explained more price variation over 12 than 3
months (and presumably more and more the further you go out)
• The valuation metrics were least effective in North America
• No valuation metric worked consistently at market bottoms
“In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in
the long run it is a weighing machine.” – Ben Graham

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