The 20 Minute DCF: Free Excel Template Download

Justin's Note: This is a nifty DCF for newbies. You will learn more complex, real world models in our financial modeling packages.(WSO users get 15% off!)

From Axial

You've probably built more discounted cash flow models than you care to remember. But, when was the last time you updated your valuation analysis?

The discounted cash flow method is one of the most powerful ways to value a company. However, building a DCF can be tedious and complex - especially if you are building one from scratch - spreadsheets are reused for years. While the recycling can save some time, it can also leave you in a rut.

To help revive your analysis, here is an easy and simple DCF excel template that allows you to value a business in under 20 minutes. Instead of offering a how-to guide on building a DCF, the template requires only a dozen basic inputs to auto-calculate a company valuation. Use it to critically review your current spreadsheets, get to a ballpark company valuation, run quick comps, or simply calculate a quick estimate for that deal on the fence.


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Comments (11)

Oct 11, 2013 - 2:03pm

It doesn't make sense to use a "template"

You need to build every individual model freshly, from a blank white excel.

"allows you to value a business in under 20 minutes" - This is bullshit. Either you are going to get some random figure that has no useful value, or the exercise would simply be a goal seek calculation for the number that you were originally looking for.

If you are looking for a quick way to value a company, you should be using comps and not a DCF. A DCF is only useful if you actually believe in all of the inputs you are using and the whole model is uniquely built for the company's unique business.

Bullshit in, bullshit out.

Go East, Young Man
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Best Response
Jan 10, 2014 - 3:47pm

^ What a shitty post. Not only are you over reacting, but you're also wrong.

'Bullshit in bullshit out' applies to the assumptions you make about WACC,growth, margins, etc. A template doesn't give you the inputs.

Go ahead and make a DCF from scratch, it's not better than a dividend discount model if your assumptions suck. You don't need to make every model from scratch as if you think every company is a unique butterfly. The DDM is a one size fits all model. Heck in a DCF all you really need is cash flows and a discount rate, it doesn't matter how you get them, all that matters is that they're somewhat right. You need to be generally right rather than than precisely wrong.

Also you're wrong for thinking comps is what you should use if you don't want to make a DCF. comps and DCF's are fundamentally different because one is relative valuation, the other is intrinsic. They are not interchangeable.

Damodaran has high quality free DCF templates on his website btw.

Jan 10, 2014 - 6:19pm

Well if you want to talk about valuation, he's the expert.

What are you even trying to argue at this point bringing up how hard it is to beat the market? That you can combine relative and intrinsic valuation and still be consistent? Sorry but it's just not. If you slap the multiple on after 1 year of projections, it's gonna mainly a relative valuation, if you slap you multiple on after 100 years, it's gonna be mainly an intrinsic valuation. If you think they're gonna be the same, then you shouldn't even value a company because markets are perfectly efficient.

What is the basic concept you think i'm missing here?

My main beef was that the first poster suggested you can't have a DCF template, which is stupid. Then you pop up telling me how a DCF is actually the same thing as comps. And i'm the one who doesn't understand the basic concepts?

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Jan 10, 2014 - 6:39pm


Do you want me to draw this out for you using a pictogram?
1. I brought up how hard it is to beat the market to illustrate the fact that the market prices pretty efficiently based off of the same value drivers that drive a DCF. This is why the best hedge fund guys get paid so much. Because finding true mispricing is hard.
2. You thinking intrinsic vs relative valuation aren't related to each other is why you don't understand basic concepts:
This is implicitly saying the market (this includes all these hedge funds and AM firms that spend their entire day studying and playing a role in PRICING the market) doesn't know shit.

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Jan 10, 2014 - 6:46pm

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