A Look at MGE Energy (MGEE)'s Intrinsic Value After the 4.4% Dividend Hike
  PUBLISHED ON: Sep 11, 2015

In this article, let's take a look at MGE Energy Inc. (MGEE), which has raised on August 21, its quarterly dividend to $0.295 from $0.52 a share. This way, the stock yields 3.1% if the share price stays at current levels. The hike reflects MGE Energy 's policy of returning value to shareholders and help to continue with a good dividend growth, now at 40 consecutive years.

"Our board recognizes the importance dividends play in our investors' portfolios," said Gary Wolter, MGE Energy's chairman, president and CEO.

Intrinsic Value

The Yahoo! (YHOO) Finance consensus price target is $60.0, so now let's try to estimate the fair value of the firm, for that purpose I will use the Dividend Discount Model.

In stock valuation models, DDM define cash flow as the dividends to be received by the shareholders. The model requires forecasting dividends for many periods, so we can use some growth models like: Gordon (constant) growth model, the Two or Three stage growth model or the H-Model (which is a special case of a two-stage model).

Once selected the appropriate model, we can forecast dividends up to the end of the investment horizon where we no longer have confidence in the forecasts and then forecast a terminal value based on some other method, such as a multiple of book value or earnings.

Let's estimate the inputs for modeling:

First, we need to calculate the different discount rates, i.e. the cost of equity (from CAPM). The capital asset pricing model (CAPM) estimates the required return on equity using the following formula: required return on stock j = risk-free rate + beta of j x equity risk premium

Risk-Free Rate: Rate of return on LT Government Debt: RF = 3.03%[1]. I think this is a very low rate. Since 1900, yields have ranged from a little less than 2% to 15%; with an average rate of 4.9%. So, I believe it is more appropriate to use this rate.

Gordon Growth Model Equity Risk Premium = (1-year forecasted dividend yield on market index) + (consensus long-term earnings growth rate) – (long-term government bond yield) = 2.13% + 11.97% - 2.67% = 11.43%[2]

Beta: From Yahoo! Finance we obtain a β = 0.744083

The result given by the CAPM is a cost of equity of: rMGEE = RF + βMGEE [GGM ERP] = 4.9% + 1.01 [11.43%] = 13.40%

Dividend growth rate (g)

The sustainable growth rate is the rate at which earnings and dividends can grow indefinitely assuming that the firm's debt-to-equity ratio is unchanged and it doesn't issue new equity.

g = b x ROE

b = retention rate

ROE = (Net Income)/Equity= ((Net Income)/Sales).(Sales/(Total Assets)).((Total Assets)/Equity)

The "PRAT" Model:

g= ((Net Income-Dividends)/(Net Income)).((Net Income)/Sales).(Sales/(Total Assets)).((Total Assets)/Equity)

Collecting the financial information for the last 3 years, each ratio was calculated, and then to have a better approximation I proceeded to find the 3-year average:

Retention rate0.49
Profit margin0.13
Asset turnover0.36
Financial leverage2.70

Now, is easy to find the g = Retention rate × Profit margin × Asset turnover × Financial leverage = 5.96%

Because for most companies, the GGM is unrealistic, let's consider the H-Model which assumes a growth rate that starts high and then declines linearly over the high growth stage, until it reverts to the long-run rate. In other words, a smoother transition to the mature phase growth rate that is more realistic.

Dividend growth rate (g) implied by Gordon growth model (long-run rate)

With the GGM formula and simple math:

g = (P0.r - D0)/(P0+D0)

= ($38.56 × 13.40% – $1.18) ÷ ($38.56 + $1.18) = 10.04%.

The growth rates are:

G(2), g(3) and g(4) are calculated using linear interpolation between g(1) and g(5).

Now that we have all the inputs, let's discount the cash flows to find the intrinsic value:
YearValueCash FlowPresent value
0Div 01.18
1Div 11.251.103
2Div 21.341.040
3Div 31.440.990
4Div 41.570.952
5Div 51.730.924
5Terminal Value56.6330.191
Intrinsic value35.20
Current share price38.56
Upside Potential-9%
Final Comment

Intrinsic value is below the trading price by 9%, so according to the model and assumptions, the stock is overvalued and subject to a potential "sell" recommendation. However, we must keep in mind that the model is a valuation method, and investors should not be relied on alone to determine a fair (over/under) value for a potential investment.

Hedge fund guru Joel Greenblatt sold out the stock in the second quarter of 2015.

[1] This value was obtained from the U.S. Department of the Treasury

[2] These values were obtained from Blommberg's CRP function.
Capital Markets, Derivatives and Financial Management Professor, Master in Finance and CFA candidate. I am an independent trader of stocks and options and passionate about the stock market.

Copyrighted 2015. Content published with author's permission.

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