Valuing a Company with Cash

Basic Proposition: Cash is different from other assets, insofar as

- its value is known with certainty

- it has no risk associated with it

The easiest way to value cash (and marketable securities) is to separate them from other assets, and value them separately.

Steps involved:

Step 1: Estimate the cash flows for the firm, as if it had no cash, i.e., take out any interest or other income that accrued from cash from the reported income. Thus, if the firm is being valued,

Adjusted EBIT = EBIT - Pre-tax Interest Income on Cash and Marketable Securities

If equity is being valued,

Net Income = Net Income - Interest Income (1 - tax rate)

Step 2: Estimate the discount rate for the firm, as if it had no cash. Since cash has no risk, this will mean that the risk parameteris for the firm have to be re-estimated. Since the reported beta for the firm reflects the cash holdings that the firm had during the regression period, the beta has to be adjusted by doing the following:

Step 2a: Estimate the cash balance as a percentage of firm value during the period of the regression.

Step 2b: Estimate the unlevered beta for the firm, using the average debt/equity ratio during the period of the regression.

Step 2c: Note that this unlevered beta was a weighted average of the beta of cash (zero) and the beta of all other assets.

Unlevered Beta = Beta of all other Assets (1 - Cash Balance as % of Firm Value) + 0 (Cash Balance as % of Firm Value)

Step 2d: Solve for the beta of all other assets

Unlevered Beta without cash = Unlevered Beta/ (1 - Cash Balance as % of Firm Value)

Step 2e: Calculate the new beta for the firm, using the firmís current debt/equity ratio

New Beta for Stock = Unlevered Beta without Cash (1 + (1- tax rate) (Current Debt/Equity Ratio))

Step 2f: Calculate the new cost of capital for the firm, using this new beta for cost of equity

Step 3: Value the assets of the firm using the cash flows adjusted (in step 1) and the re-estimated discount rates (in step 2)

Step 4: Add the current cash balance

Value of the Firm = Value of the Assets from step 3 + Current Cash Balance

Step 5: Subtract out the total debt outstanding to get value of equity

Value of Equity = Value of Firm - Value of Debt

Alternatively, the firm value can be compared to the sum of the values of equity and debt.

The Standard Practice (and what could be wrong with it)

The standard practice on Wall Street in valuations is to do a status quo valuation of the firm (using reported net income and cost of capital) and compare it to the sum of value of equity and net debt, which is the difference between debt and cash.

Status Quo Valuation of Firm Compared to Value of Equity + Value of Debt - Cash Balance

In other words, they do the same thing that we do, except that they do not adjust the income and cost of capital for the existence of cash. This could result in the double counting of cash, since the interest income from cash is counted in the status quo valuation and cash is counted again as an asset.

An Example: Valuing Chrysler in March 1996

Step 1: Estimate the operating earnings without the interest income from cash
 1995 Next Year EBIT = \$ 4,444 Less Interest Income from Cash = \$ 800 EBIT without interest income = \$3,644 \$ 3,826 EBIT (1-t) = \$ 2,332 \$ 2,449

Step 2: Estimate the discount rate, without the cash effects

2a: Estimate the cash balance as a percent of firm value for period of the regression
 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 Average Cash \$ 3,035 \$ 3,649 \$ 5,095 \$ 8,371 \$ 8,125 MV of Equity \$ 3,435 \$ 9,468 \$ 18,834 \$ 17,399 \$ 20,854 Debt \$ 19,438 \$ 15,551 \$ 11,451 \$ 13,106 \$ 14,193 Firm Value \$ 22,873 \$ 25,019 \$ 30,285 \$ 30,505 \$ 35,047 Cash as % of Value 13.27% 14.58% 16.82% 27.44% 23.18% 19.06%

2b: Estimate the unlevered beta for Chrysler, using the average debt equity ratio during the period of the regression
 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 Average MV of Equity \$ 3,435 \$ 9,468 \$ 18,834 \$ 17,399 \$ 20,854 Debt \$ 19,438 \$ 15,551 \$ 11,451 \$ 13,106 \$ 14,193 Debt/Equity Ratio 5.66 1.64 0.61 0.75 0.68 1.87

Unlevered Beta for Chrysler = Beta for the Stock / ( 1 + (1- tax rate) (Debt/Equity))

= 1.20 / (1 + 0.64 * 1.87) = 0.55

2c & d: Estimate the unlevered beta without cash

Beta of other assets (1 - Cash/Firm Value) + 0 (Cash/Firm Value) = Unlevered Beta for the Firm

Beta of other assets (1 - 0.1906) + 0 (0.1906) = 0.55

Unlevered Beta of other assets = 0.55/0.8094 = 0.68

2e: Estimate the new levered beta

Levered Beta without Cash = 0.68 ( 1 + (1 - tax rate) ( Current Debt Equity Ratio)

= 0.68 ( 1 + 0.64 (0.68)) = 0.98

2f: Estimate the cost of capital

Cost of Equity = 6.5% + 0.98 (5.5%) = 11.87% Current Proportion of Equity = 20854/(20854+14193) = 59.50%

Cost of Debt = 7.5% (based upon bond rating) Current Proportion of Debt = 14193/(20854+14193) = 40.50%

Cost of Capital = 11.87% (0.595) + 7.5% (1-0.36) (0.405) = 9.00%

Step 3: Value Chryslerís non-cash assets.

Model Used: Stable Growth FCFF Model

Reasons: Firm is in stable growth; Cyclical Firm in a Mature Industry

Estimated Free Cash Flow to Firm Next Year
 EBIT (1-t) = \$ 2,449 - (Net Capital Expenditure) = \$ 1,000 - Change in Working Capital = \$ 195 Free Cashflow to Firm \$ 1,254

Value of Chryslerís non-cash assets = Expected Free Cash Flow to Firm Next Year / (WACC - Stable Growth Rate)

= \$ 1,254 / (.09 - .05) = \$ 31,344 million

Step 4: Value all of Chryslerís assets by adding back the cash

Value of non-cash assets = \$ 31,344 million

+ Cash & Marketable Securities = \$ 8,125 million

Value of Chrysler = \$ 39,469 million

Step 5: Subtract out the value of the outstanding debt, and estimate the value of equity.

Value of Chrysler = \$ 39,469 million

- Value of Debt = \$ 14,193 million

- Value of Preferred Stock = \$ 683 million

Value of Equity = \$ 24, 413 million

/ Number of Shares = 382.56 million

Value per Share = \$ 63.82