Stock Analysis

Estimating The Fair Value Of SciClone Pharmaceuticals (Holdings) Limited (HKG:6600)

SEHK:6600
Source: Shutterstock

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of SciClone Pharmaceuticals (Holdings) Limited (HKG:6600) as an investment opportunity by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

We generally believe that a company's value is the present value of all of the cash it will generate in the future. However, a DCF is just one valuation metric among many, and it is not without flaws. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

View our latest analysis for SciClone Pharmaceuticals (Holdings)

The Calculation

We're using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company's growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have a stable growth rate. 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, so we discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032
Levered FCF (CN¥, Millions) CN¥610.0m CN¥482.0m CN¥411.9m CN¥372.1m CN¥348.9m CN¥335.5m CN¥328.2m CN¥324.9m CN¥324.4m CN¥325.7m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ -14.54% Est @ -9.66% Est @ -6.24% Est @ -3.85% Est @ -2.17% Est @ -1.00% Est @ -0.18% Est @ 0.40%
Present Value (CN¥, Millions) Discounted @ 7.5% CN¥568 CN¥417 CN¥332 CN¥279 CN¥243 CN¥218 CN¥198 CN¥183 CN¥170 CN¥158

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CN¥2.8b

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the initial 10-year period, we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all future cash flows beyond the first stage. 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 (1.7%) 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 7.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CN¥326m× (1 + 1.7%) ÷ (7.5%– 1.7%) = CN¥5.8b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CN¥5.8b÷ ( 1 + 7.5%)10= CN¥2.8b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is CN¥5.6b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of HK$9.9, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. Valuations are imprecise instruments though, rather like a telescope - move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Do keep this in mind.

dcf
SEHK:6600 Discounted Cash Flow February 17th 2023

Important Assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. If you don't agree with these result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the 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 SciClone Pharmaceuticals (Holdings) 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 7.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.800. 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.

SWOT Analysis for SciClone Pharmaceuticals (Holdings)

Strength
  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.
  • Debt is not viewed as a risk.
  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.
Weakness
  • Earnings growth over the past year is below its 5-year average.
  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Pharmaceuticals market.
Opportunity
  • Annual revenue is forecast to grow faster than the Hong Kong market.
  • Good value based on P/E ratio compared to estimated Fair P/E ratio.
Threat
  • Annual earnings are forecast to decline for the next 3 years.

Moving On:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. For SciClone Pharmaceuticals (Holdings), we've put together three pertinent factors you should further examine:

  1. Risks: Be aware that SciClone Pharmaceuticals (Holdings) is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 2 of those can't be ignored...
  2. Future Earnings: How does 6600's growth rate compare to its peers and the wider market? Dig deeper into the analyst consensus number for the upcoming years by interacting with our free analyst growth expectation chart.
  3. Other Solid Businesses: Low debt, high returns on equity and good past performance are fundamental to a strong business. Why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals to see if there are other companies you may not have considered!

PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every Hong Kong stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether SciClone Pharmaceuticals (Holdings) is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

View the Free Analysis

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.