# Understanding Terminal Value: The Key to Accurate Valuation

Companies often don’t plan on shutting down after just a few years. They anticipate their success will last forever. **Terminal value** is a discounting method used to estimate a firm’s future worth and apply it to the current pricing. Financial tools that depend on terminal value include the Gordon Growth Model, Discounted Cash Flow (DFC), and the determination of residual earnings. The **DCF terminal value** is the value of all future cash flows that will occur beyond a certain projection time, and it accounts for a significant portion of the total value of a firm in a DCF model. DCF Terminal Value may be determined using the **Exit Multiple** or the **Perpetual Growth Model**, which we will discuss in this article, in addition to the terminal value formula.

## Terminal value

The projected worth of an asset at the conclusion of its useful life is known as terminal value. It is used to calculate depreciation and is an essential component of** DCF analysis** since it contributes significantly to a company’s overall worth. Let’s understand it in detail.

### What is Terminal Value?

The value of an asset, company, or project after the time for which **future cash flows** may be projected is known as its terminal value (TV). The concept of the terminal value is based on the assumption that an organization will continue to expand at a certain pace beyond the horizon year. In many cases, the assessed value is based mostly on the terminal value of the property.

The Gordon Growth Model, Discounted Cash Flow (DFC), and the calculation of residual profits are just a few financial instruments that rely on terminal value. However, the primary use is in **discounted cash flow studies**.

### Why is terminal value important?

The terminal value in financial analysis is the sum of the future values of all cash flows beyond a certain horizon. It records hard-to-foretell numbers using a standard financial model’s prediction horizon. One of the three approaches we’ve discussed below is utilized to determine the terminal value depending on the analysis type.

## Methods of calculating terminal value

For calculating terminal values, there are three commonly used models. These models are the **perpetuity growth model**, **exit value model**, and **Gordon growth model**. Let’s understand it in detail.

### Perpetuity growth model

The predicted constant rate of growth for an organization is known as the **terminal growth rate**. In a discounted cash flow model, this growth rate begins after the previous cash flow period and continues indefinitely. A terminal growth rate often corresponds to the long-term inflation rate and is not more than the historical GDP growth rate.

The temporal value of money causes a difference between the present and future values of a particular amount of money, necessitating discounting. Dividends or free cash flow may be predicted in company valuation for a certain time period. Still, when estimates are made farther into the future, it becomes harder to predict how continuing businesses will perform. Furthermore, it is difficult to pinpoint when a firm may stop operating.

Investors may get around these restrictions by assuming that cash flows would increase steadily over time beginning at some point in the future to **calculate the terminal value** in the perpetuity growth model. The difference between the discount rate and terminal growth rate is used to generate the terminal value in the perpetuity growth model, which is then multiplied by the most recent cash flow prediction. The terminal value calculation estimates the company’s worth after the projected period. We’ll discuss the formula and how to calculate using the perpetuity growth model in a bit.

### Exit value

There is no need to employ the perpetual growth model if investors believe that the **operational window is limited**. The terminal value should instead represent the assets’ current net realizable worth. This often suggests that a bigger company will buy the shares, and the worth of purchases is frequently determined using exit multiples.

Exit multiples combine financial figures like revenue, income, or profits without interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) by a number typical for previously acquired businesses comparable to the target company. This method estimates a reasonable price. The most recent statistic (such as sales, EBITDA, etc.) is multiplied by the chosen multiple in the **terminal value calculation** using the exit multiple approaches (mostly a median of recent exit multiples for other transactions). Although investment banks often use this valuation form, some critics are wary about using both intrinsic and relative valuation methodologies simultaneously.

### Gordon growth model

Although the exit multiple techniques are straightforward, it is still crucial to understand how you get at the exit multiple since it significantly influences the ultimate value. It is no longer an intrinsic value calculation if we calculate the multiple by examining similar businesses in the same industry. **When many comparables are used**, the terminal value changes from a discounted cash flow valuation to a relative valuation, which is still a risky combination of the two.

The **liquidation approach** and the **Gordon Growth Model** are the only ways to determine the terminal value reliably.

Gordon Growth Model model implies that the firm’s cash flows will continue to increase at a slower pace, come down to earth, and increase at a rate equal to or lower than the economy in which the company works. This rate is known as the **steady growth rate**. The fact that the business may continue to develop steadily indefinitely or in perpetuity enables us to calculate the terminal value of the cash flows that will flow beyond that time. Companies may use such cash flows to buy more assets and boost their growth as they operate into the future.

## How to calculate the terminal value with different methods?

Now you know three different models for calculating terminal value, but how do you use them to compute? Let’s discuss the formulas below.

### Perpetuity growth model

The terminal value is determined using the perpetual growth model, which is as follows –

**Terminal value**= (Free Cash Flow x (1 + G)) / (WACC – G)

Here:

Free Cash Flow is for the last twelve months.

WACC is the Weighted Average Cost of Capital.

G is the perpetual growth rate (or sustainable growth rate)

The perpetual growth rate is often equal to the inflation rate and nearly never higher than the pace of economic expansion. A multiple-stage terminal value may be found in its place if the growth rate changes.

### Exit value

Depending on the strategy the analyst chooses to use, the terminal value is determined. TV is determined using the exit value approach as follows –

**Terminal value**= Exit Value of Last Twelve Months x Projected Statistic

Enterprise value/EBIT or Enterprise value/EBITDA are the typical multiples employed in financial valuation and might represent the **exit value**. On the other hand, the predicted statistic is the relevant projection from the prior year.

### Gordon growth model

The formula used to calculate the terminal value using the Gordon growth model is as follows –

**Terminal Value**= Cash Flow / R – G(stable)

Here:

R is Required Rate of Return required for investing in business shares by the equity stakeholders

G is the dividend growth rate or projected annual growth rate

We must choose the appropriate discount rate for this calculation depending on whether we value the business or the equity.

We must choose the appropriate discount rate for this calculation depending on whether we value the business or the equity.

If we assign a valuation to the company, then the **model’s growth rate** and required rate of return are infinitely sustainable.

**Terminal Value**= Cashflow to Firm /( Cost of Capital – g )

The Gordon Growth Model described above is a variation of the one you use to assess dividend-paying firms. We utilize it to determine the final worth of a running concern or business sold on the stock market.

## What is DCF in terminal value?

The Discount Cash Flow (DCF) approach is predicated on the idea that the value of an asset equals the sum of all its potential future cash flows. At a **discount rate** that reflects the expense of capital, like the interest rate, such cash flows should be reduced to their current value.

The forecast period and the terminal value are the two main elements that make up a **Discounted Cash Flow** / **DCF model**. Because this is a realistic time to make specific predictions, the forecast term for a standard firm is normally 3-5 years (although it may be considerably longer in other kinds of enterprises, such as oil and natural gas or mining).

The DCF terminal value enters the picture at that point since everything beyond that turns into truly just a guessing game. A large amount of a **company’s overall worth** in a DCF model is represented by terminal value, which is the value of all future cash flows that will occur beyond the projection period. This implies that a business’s worth may be significantly impacted by the assumptions made regarding its final value.

Perpetual Growth DCF Terminal Value and Exit Multiple DCF Terminal Value are two ways to calculate DCF Terminal Value. Let’s discuss how to calculate with these methods below.

## How to calculate

The DCF terminal value calculation has two different approaches, perpetual growth and exit multiple. **Let’s see how to calculate**.

### Perpetual Growth DCF Terminal Value

The perpetual growth DCF terminal value is determined using the following formula –

**TV**= (FCFn x (1 + g)) / (WACC – g)

Here:

TV is the terminal value

FCF is the free cash flow

n is the year number of the terminal period or final year

g is the perpetual growth rate of Free cash flow

WACC is the weighted average cost of capital

### Exit Multiple DCF Terminal Value

The exit multiple terminal values are determined using the following formula –

**TV**= Financial Metric (such as EBITDA) x Trading Multiple (such as 10x)

## Restraints on terminal value

As was already established, the perpetual growth model is constrained by the challenge of forecasting an exact growth rate. Furthermore, the equation’s assumptions might introduce errors that affect the computed DCF terminal value. On the other hand, the dynamic character of multiples limits the **exit of multiple techniques** since they alter with time.

All in all, before using one of the two ways, meticulous planning must be done. But to **get an acceptable valuation result** for both techniques, it’s crucial to use a variety of relevant rates and multiples.

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