
In the previous chapter, we calculated the discount rate for ACME Corp. Now we’ll do the final calculations to generate a fair value for the company’s equity.
Calculate the Terminal Value
Now that we’ve estimated the free cash flow generated over the fiveyear forecast period, we need to estimate the value of ACME Corp.’s cash flows after that period (if we don’t include this, we would have to assume that ACME Corp. stopped operating at the end of the fiveyear forecast period). To do so, we’ll determine the company’s terminal value.
Gordon Growth Model
A widelyused method of estimate the terminal value of cash flows is the Gordon Growth Model, which uses the following formula:
In Forecasting Free Cash Flows, we estimated free cash flow of $21.3M for ACME Corp. in Year 5, the final or “terminal” year of our company projections. We also calculated the company’s discount rate as 11% in Calculating the Discount Rate. We’ll also assume that cash flows will grow in perpetuity by 4% per year. Now we can calculate the terminal value of ACME Corp. using the Gordon Growth Model:
Calculating Total Enterprise Value
We now have the following free cash flow projection for ACME Corp.:
Forecast Period 
Year 1 
Year 2 
Year 3 
Year 4 
Year 5 
Terminal Value 
Free Cash Flow 
$18.5M 
$21.3M 
$24.1M 
$19.9M 
$21.3M 
$316.9M 
To determine a total company value, or enterprise value (EV), we take the present value of the cash flows, divide each by the discount rate (11%) and then add the results:
EV = ($18.5M/1.11) + ($21.3M/(1.11)^{2}) + ($24.1M/(1.11)^{3}) + ($19.9M/(1.11)^{4}) + ($21.3M/(1.11)^{5}) + $316.9M/(1.11)^{5})
EV = $265.3M
Calculating the Fair Value of Equity
We have one more step. ACME Corp.’s $265.3M enterprise value includes the company’s debt. Because investors are more interested in the value of the company’s shares alone, we’ll deduct net debt from this value to arrive at a fair value of the company’s equity.
For our example, we’ll assume that ACME Corp. has $50M in net debt on its balance sheet, so we’ll subtract that from the company’s enterprise value to get the equity value:
Fair Value = Enterprise Value – Debt
Fair Value of ACME Corp. = $265.3M  $50M = $215.3M
And that it’s, our DCF valuation is complete. ACME Corp. has a fair value of $215.3 million. We can divide the fair value by the number of ACME Corp. shares outstanding to get a fair value per share. If shares are trading at a lower value, it could represent a buying opportunity for investors; conversely, if they’re trading at a higher value, it could represent a selling opportunity.
DCF Analysis: Pros & Cons of DCF

Trading
How Companies Use Derivatives to Hedge Risk
Learn how derivatives can be used to reduce the risks associated with changes in foreign exchange rates, interest rates, and commodity prices. 
Investing
Value Investing: Why Investors Care About Free Cash Flow Over EBITDA
Examine value investing philosophy and methodology to see why free cash flow is more important than EBITDA in pure intrinsic value calculation. 
Investing
Evaluate Stock Price With ReverseEngineering DCF
This is a more accurate method to use when trying to find a target price for a stock. 
Investing
Market value versus book value
Understanding book value and market value is helpful in determining a stock's valuation and how the market views a company's growth prospects. 
Investing
Cheap Stocks or Value Traps?
The value of stocks that trade at less than cash per share can be deceiving. 
Investing
How to choose the best stock valuation method
There are many valuation methods available to investors, each with unique characteristics. Here, we'll explore the most common valuation methods – and when to use them.