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Understanding Terminal Value (TV)


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Understanding Terminal Value (TV)

The forecast becomes darker as the time horizon increases. This also applies to finances, especially when it comes to estimating the company's cash flows in the future. At the same time, business needs to be valued. To "solve" this, analysts use financial models, such as discounted cash flow (DCF), along with certain assumptions to obtain the total value of the business or project.

Discounted cash flow (discounted cash flow) is a popular method used in feasibility studies, corporate acquisitions and stock market valuations. This method is based on the theory that the value of an asset is equal to all future cash flows received from that asset. These cash flows must be discounted to their present value at a discount rate that represents the cost of capital, such as an interest rate.

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DCF consists of two main components: the forecast period and the final value. The estimated period is usually about five years. Anything longer than that and the accuracy of the forecasts suffer. Here, calculating the value of the terminal becomes important.

There are two commonly used methods for calculating the final cost: perpetual growth (Gordon's growth model) and multiple output. The first assumes that the business will continue to generate cash flow at a constant rate forever, while the second assumes that the business will be sold in multiples of some market indicators. Investment professionals prefer a multiple approach, while scientists prefer a model of perpetual growth.

Terminal value types (TV)

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The discount is necessary because the temporary value of money creates a mismatch between the current and future value of a given amount of money. When valuing a business, free cash flow or dividends can be forecast for a period of time, but estimating the results of current problems becomes more difficult as forecasts spread further into the future. Moreover, it is difficult to determine the exact time when the company may cease operations.

To overcome these limitations, investors can assume that cash flows will grow at a steady rate forever, starting at some point in the future. This is the ultimate value.

The cost of the terminal is calculated by dividing the last projected cash flow by the difference between the discount rate and the growth rate of the terminal. The terminal cost estimate estimates the value of the company after the forecast period. Formula for calculating the final value:

(FCF * (1 + g)) / (d - g)


FCF = Free cash flow for the last forecast period

g = terminal growth rate

d = discount rate (which is usually the weighted average cost of capital)

The final growth rate is the constant rate at which the company is expected to grow forever. This growth rate begins at the end of the last forecast period of cash flow according to the discounted cash flow model and passes into eternity. The final growth rate usually corresponds to a long-term inflation rate, but not higher than the historical growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP).

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Exit from several methods

If investors assume a limited transaction window, there is no need to use a model of indefinite growth. Instead, the final cost should reflect the net realizable value of the company's assets at that time. This often means that equity will be acquired by a larger firm, and the cost of acquisitions is often calculated with multiple yields.


Yield ratios measure the fair price by multiplying financial statistics, such as sales, earnings or interest income, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), by a ratio that is common to similar firms that have recently been acquired. The formula for the value of a terminal using the multiple output method is the last metric (ie sales, EBITDA, etc.) multiplied by the accepted multiple (usually the average of the last multiple outputs for other transactions). Investment banks often use this valuation method, but some detractors are reluctant to use their own and relative valuation methods at the same time.