How to Do DCF Valuation Using Sensitivity Analysis in Excel

 
Discounted Cash flow is probably the commonest ways of valuation of a company. This method involves amongst other things analyzing the impact of factors like cost of equity or change in risk free rate on the price of a company’s share.

It is but obvious that any company operates in a dynamic environment and hence for investors it is imperative that the model so built gives the investor a range of price movement so that they are prepared with respect to the possible price fluctuations that they might have to encounter if they decide to stay invested in the company.

Investors are able to gauge the sensitivity of price to various inputs using a technique called “sensitivity analysis”.

Sensitivity analysis is especially useful in cases where investors are evaluating between proposals of the same industry or in cases where proposals are from multiple industries but driven by similar factors

What Is Sensitivity Analysis?

As the words suggest, in sensitivity analysis, we try and ascertain the impact of change in outcome for changes in inputs. In other words it is also a function of the effect of various inputs to the final outcome and also the impact that each input has.

The most common tool available for us to do sensitivity analysis is Microsoft Excel.

So How Do We Do It?

In Excel, sensitivity analysis comes under “What-if” analysis functions. The following are used most often

(1) Data Table

1. One Variable Data Table

2. Two Variable Data Table

(2) Goal Seek

Data Tables

1. One Variable Data Table

Let us assume that we would like to know the impact that any change in cost of equity on the discounting factor which would be used to calculate discounting factor.  Our model currently shows that the discounting factor at 15.1% cost of equity is approximately 0.97.

Now if we need to analyze the impact of change in cost of equity on discounting factor, then we could do the following:

1x1.trans How to Do DCF Valuation Using Sensitivity Analysis in Excel
Steps:

a)  Type the list of values that you want to evaluate in the input cell either down one column or across one row.

b) Leave a few empty rows and columns on either side of the values.

c) If the data table is column-oriented (your variable values are in a column), type the formula in the cell in a manner similar to how we have done in cell P9.

d) Select the range of cells that contains the formulas and values that you want to substitute. For us this range is O9:P22.

e) The results i.e. incremental changes in discounting factor would automatically appear in cells P9:P22.

2. Two Variable Data Table

Let us take another example wherein we need to analyze the impact of change in not only cost of equity but also risk free rate on the Value per Share.

If we need to factor in both these variables then we would be using a two variable data table for sensitivity analysis in Excel.

1x1.trans How to Do DCF Valuation Using Sensitivity Analysis in Excel

The following are the additional steps that we need to do to include the two variables:

a) Since the data table has both columns and rows, hence the formula cell shifts exactly above the column variable and right beside the row variable, which for us is cell E18.

b) Select the range of cells that contains the formulas and values that you want to substitute. For us this range is E18:L24.

c) On the Data tab, click What-If Analysis, followed by“Data Table”. Type the cell reference

  • For the “Columninput” cell box, for us its O13.
  • For the Rows input cell box, for us its O20.

d) The results i.e. the possible variations in would automatically appear in cells E19:L25.

Goal Seek

This function is used to find the missing input for the desired result.

Let’s take the example of the model that we have used for Data Tables. Here let’s say we know the cost of equity. However we are not sure what would be the market risk premium. In this scenario “Goal Seek” is an excellent function for sensitivity analysis in Excel.

The methodology of using “Goal Seek” is as follows.1x1.trans How to Do DCF Valuation Using Sensitivity Analysis in Excel

a)      On the Data tab, click What-If Analysis and then click “Goal Seek”.

b)      In the Set cell box, enter O20, the cell with the formula you want
in our case it’s the average cost of equity.

c)       In the To value box, type the target value i.e. 15.1%.

d)      In the By changing cell box, enter O14, the reference to the cell that contains the value that you want to adjust.

e)      Click OK and the result would come up as 12.3% after rounding off.

 

I have also created a video to help you understand how to use sensitivity analysis for DCF valuation.

 

 

Thus to conclude, we can state that Excel allows us to use various tools to make our lives easier.

In financial modeling one of the key components to efficiently perform requirements related to interpreting sensitivity is by using “What-If Analysis” with various steps as mentioned above.

Using Data tables and goal seek function we can save ourselves from a lot of time and error wastage which may occur in case you decide to do the calculations by hand.

In all probability, learning effective use of sensitivity analysis in Excel would make us better prepared to understand the impact of inputs on the value of investments and hence keep us better prepared for fluctuations once we commit our investments.

How to Freeze Panes and Zoom in Excel

 

In this post, we will see how to freeze panes and how to zoom in and out of data in excel.

Freezing Panes is especially important when you have really huge data. Like shown in the figure below, where the data size is large and you need to scroll down, in such case you are not able to see the headers as you scroll down.

 

1x1.trans How to Freeze Panes and Zoom in Excel

Freeze Panes

 

Excel 2003 and 2007 freeze panes

The shortcut to freeze panes is Alt+W+F+F for Excel 2007 and Alt+W+F for Excel 2000 and Excel 2003. What it exactly does is it takes top left corner of whichever cell you are currently in and freezes the panes then-and-there.

1x1.trans How to Freeze Panes and Zoom in Excel

Freeze Panes

As shown in the above figure, the first row i.e. the row of titles is freezed so that even if there is huge data and you have to scroll down, still you will be able to see the titles and don’t have to scroll up every time to see them. Same is the case with columns.

1x1.trans How to Freeze Panes and Zoom in Excel

Freeze Panes

Use Alt+W+F+F (Excel 2007) or Alt+W+F(Excel 2000 or Excel 2003) to unfreeze the frozen cells.

The Freeze Panes functionality is most commonly used to freeze the first row and/or first column. You will see why when we study models further.

If you are using Excel 2007, then you can use Alt+W+F+R to freeze the first row and Alt+W+F+C to freeze the first column.

Even though this option is not present in Excel 2000 or 2003, there you can use Alt+W+F+F to freeze row above your current cell and column to the left of your current cell.

So this was about freezing panes.

Now we will see how to use the zoom feature in excel.

Use Alt+V+Z to zoom the excel sheet.

1x1.trans How to Freeze Panes and Zoom in Excel

Zoom in Excel

As shown in the above figure, you can zoom using Alt+V+Z. It asks you the percent of zoom,which you can select using arrow keys.

1x1.trans How to Freeze Panes and Zoom in Excel

Zoom in Excel

Similarly you can zoom in as shown in the figure below using the same combination of keys.

1x1.trans How to Freeze Panes and Zoom in Excel

Zoom in Excel

Also, you can use the Fit Selection option of zoom to fit the selected data on one screen. This can be done using Alt+V+Z+F.

1x1.trans How to Freeze Panes and Zoom in Excel

Zoom in Excel

So this was all about how to Freeze panes and zooming feature in excel. These features are also used frequently in financial modeling.

Let me know if you have any queries regarding freeze panes and zoom in excel .

How to Hide, Unhide and Group in Excel

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In this post, we will see very important features- hide, unhide and group in excel. Hide and Group in excel feature is useful when you have really huge data that spans over too many rows and columns, and you want to do away with some rows and columns and want to access only few of them. […] Read more »