Estimating The Fair Value Of Genscript Biotech Corporation (HKG:1548)

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 15, 2021
SEHK:1548
Source: Shutterstock

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Genscript Biotech Corporation (HKG:1548) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

See our latest analysis for Genscript Biotech

The method

We use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of growth rates for the company's cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a lower growth phase. To start off with, we need to estimate the next ten years of cash flows. Where possible we use analyst estimates, but when these aren't available we extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the last estimate or reported value. We assume companies with shrinking free cash flow will slow their rate of shrinkage, and that companies with growing free cash flow will see their growth rate slow, over this period. We do this to reflect that growth tends to slow more in the early years than it does in later years.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) -US$286.5m -US$137.1m US$164.1m US$294.4m US$403.6m US$510.2m US$606.7m US$689.8m US$759.0m US$815.6m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x3 Analyst x3 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 37.09% Est @ 26.4% Est @ 18.93% Est @ 13.69% Est @ 10.03% Est @ 7.46%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.5% -US$269 -US$121 US$136 US$228 US$294 US$349 US$389 US$415 US$429 US$432

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$2.3b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of a country's GDP growth. In this case we have used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (1.5%) to estimate future growth. In the same way as with the 10-year 'growth' period, we discount future cash flows to today's value, using a cost of equity of 6.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$816m× (1 + 1.5%) ÷ (6.5%– 1.5%) = US$16b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$16b÷ ( 1 + 6.5%)10= US$8.7b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is US$11b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of HK$35.3, the company appears about fair value at a 13% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

dcf
SEHK:1548 Discounted Cash Flow August 16th 2021

The assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual cash flows. Part of investing is coming up with your own evaluation of a company's future performance, so try the calculation yourself and check your own assumptions. The DCF also does not consider the possible cyclicality of an industry, or a company's future capital requirements, so it does not give a full picture of a company's potential performance. Given that we are looking at Genscript Biotech as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighted average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation we've used 6.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.939. Beta is a measure of a stock's volatility, compared to the market as a whole. We get our beta from the industry average beta of globally comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.

Looking Ahead:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or overvalued. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. For Genscript Biotech, we've compiled three essential elements you should explore:

  1. Risks: For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for Genscript Biotech that you should be aware of.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for 1548's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
  3. Other High Quality Alternatives: Do you like a good all-rounder? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!

PS. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the SEHK every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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