If the cash flows being projected are unlevered free cash flows, then the proper discount rate to use would be the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) and the ending output is going to be the enterprise value. Since forecasting gets hazy as the time horizon increases, determining a company’s cash flow or the value of a project becomes more difficult. Instead of wading into the unknown, analysts use financial models like Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) along with some baseline assumptions to ascertain Terminal Value. Terminal value can be calculated using the perpetual growth method or the exit multiple method.

The terminal value (TV) is the estimated value of a company beyond the initial forecast period in a DCF model. The Terminal Value is the estimated value of a company beyond the final year of the explicit forecast period in a DCF model. In diverse valuation methods like DCF analysis, CCA, and PTA, Terminal Value is crucial, demanding careful growth and discount rate analysis. Terminal Value (TV) serves as the estimated worth of a business or project beyond a defined projection period. Thus, it’s crucial to align Terminal Value assumptions with a realistic long-term vision for the company, ensuring that the projections are sustainable and coherent.

The 60% FCF to EBITDA ratio assumption is extrapolated for each forecasted period. In practice, there are two widely used methods to calculate the terminal value as part of performing a DCF analysis. The accuracy of forecasting tends to reduce in reliability the further out the projection model tries to predict operating performance.

For instance, if the cash flow at the end of the initial forecast period is $100 and the discount rate is 10.0%, the TV comes out to $1,000 ($100 ÷ 10.0%). One frequent mistake is cutting off the explicit forecast period too soon, when the company’s cash flows have yet to reach maturity. Below is a break down of subject weightings in the FMVA® financial analyst program. As you can see there is a heavy focus on financial modeling, finance, Excel, business valuation, budgeting/forecasting, PowerPoint presentations, accounting and business strategy.

The calculation of terminal value is a critical part of DCF analysis because terminal value usually accounts for approximately 70 to 80% of the total NPV figure. If we add the two values – the $127mm PV of stage 1 FCFs and $305mm PV of the TV – we get $432mm as the implied total enterprise value (TEV). We’ll now move to a modeling exercise, which you can access by filling out the form below. At Finance Strategists, we partner with financial experts to ensure the accuracy of our financial content. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice.

## DCF Model Assumptions

It’s a crucial part of DCF analysis because it accounts for a significant portion of the total value of a business. The first method is to assume the assets can be sold for their inflation-adjusted book value. The second assumes the assets still have the ability to generate a certain amount of cash flow that is then discounted to the present value at the time of the liquidation. The first step in this process would be to estimate the value of an investment for the chosen period using a valuation technique such as the discounted cash flow model. If the exit multiple approach was used to calculate the TV, it is important to cross-check the amount by backing into an implied growth rate to confirm that it’s reasonable.

## Multiple Approach

However, it is difficult to agree on the assumptions that will predict an accurate perpetual growth rate. The Perpetuity Growth Model has several inherent characteristics that make it intellectually challenging. Because both the discount rate and growth rate are assumptions, inaccuracies in one or both inputs can provide an improper value.

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For example, this information does little for a passive index investor because that style of investing doesn’t rely on individual investment valuations. Mutual fund investors do not need to think about terminal value because even if the fund’s strategy involves the use of terminal value, there are analysts and fund managers handling that for you. Unless there are atypical circumstances such as time constraints or the absence of data surrounding the valuation, the calculation under both methods is normally listed side-by-side. In theory, the exit multiple serves as a useful point of reference for the future valuation of the target company in its mature state. On that note, simplified high-level assumptions eventually become necessary to capture the lump sum value at the end of the forecast period, or “terminal value”.

## Table of Contents

TV is used in various financial tools such as the Gordon Growth Model, the discounted cash flow, and residual earnings computation. Over time, economic and market conditions will what is terminal value impact a company’s growth rate, so the calculation of terminal value tends to be less accurate as projections are made further into the future. However, the structure of the NPV calculation using DCF analysis requires an additional cash flow projection beyond the given initial forecast period.

- But for both methods, using a range of applicable rates and multiples is important in order to get an acceptable valuation result.
- The exit multiple method also comes with its share of criticism as its inclusion brings an element of relative valuation into intrinsic valuation.
- In discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, neither the perpetuity growth model nor the exit multiple approach is likely to render a perfectly accurate estimate of terminal value.
- If N is the 5th and final year in this period, then the Terminal Value is divided by (1+k)5.
- Because both the discount rate and growth rate are assumptions, inaccuracies in one or both inputs can provide an improper value.

## Terminal Value: Exit Multiple Method

The choice of which method to use to calculate terminal value depends partly on whether an investor wants to obtain a relatively more optimistic estimate or a relatively more conservative estimate. If the cash flow at the end of the initial projection period is $100 and the discount rate is 10.0% but this time around, there is a perpetuity growth rate of 3%, the terminal value comes out as ~$1,471. Terminal value accounts for a significant portion of the total value of a business in a DCF model because it represents the value of all future cash flows beyond the projection period. The assumptions made about terminal value can significantly impact the overall valuation of a business. The perpetuity growth model usually renders a higher terminal value than the alternative, the exit multiple model.

But once again, the PV of this amount must be calculated by dividing $480mm by (1 + 10% discount rate) raised to the power of 5, which comes out to $298mm. By multiplying the $60mm in terminal year EBITDA by the comps-derived exit multiple assumption of 8.0x, we get $480mm as the TV in Year 5. Once we discount each FCF and sum up the values, we get $127mm as the PV of the stage 1 FCFs – and this amount remains constant under either approach.

As an example of the second approach, assume that the assets are expected to generate cash flows amounting to a total of $250,000,000 per year for 10 years after the terminal year and that the firm has an 8.5% cost of capital. To calculate the additional amount of cash flow over 10 years use the same formula as the first approach as follows, and note that the $250,000,000 must be discounted to the present value using the 6.5% inflation-adjusted cost of capital. But as mentioned earlier, the perpetuity growth method assumes that a company’s cash flows grow at a constant rate perpetually.