Before Investing In HNI Corporation (NYSE:HNI), Consider This

If you are currently a shareholder in HNI Corporation (NYSE:HNI), or considering investing in the stock, you need to examine how the business generates cash, and how it is reinvested. After investment, what’s left over is what belongs to you, the investor. This also determines how much the stock is worth. Today we will examine HNI’s ability to generate cash flows, as well as the level of capital expenditure it is expected to incur over the next couple of years, which will result in how much money goes to you.

See our latest analysis for HNI

Is HNI generating enough cash?

HNI’s free cash flow (FCF) is the level of cash flow the business generates from its operational activities, after it reinvests in the company as capital expenditure. This type of expense is needed for HNI to continue to grow, or at least, maintain its current operations.

I will be analysing HNI’s FCF by looking at its FCF yield and its operating cash flow growth. The yield will tell us whether the stock is generating enough cash to compensate for the risk investors take on by holding a single stock, which I will compare to the market index. The growth will proxy for sustainability levels of this cash generation.

Free Cash Flow = Operating Cash Flows – Net Capital Expenditure

Free Cash Flow Yield = Free Cash Flow / Enterprise Value

where Enterprise Value = Market Capitalisation + Net Debt

Along with a positive operating cash flow, HNI also generates a positive free cash flow. However, the yield of 4.46% is not sufficient to compensate for the level of risk investors are taking on. This is because HNI’s yield is well-below the market yield, in addition to serving higher risk compared to the well-diversified market index.

NYSE:HNI Balance Sheet Net Worth, March 15th 2019
NYSE:HNI Balance Sheet Net Worth, March 15th 2019

Is HNI’s yield sustainable?

Can HNI improve its operating cash production in the future? Let’s take a quick look at the cash flow trend the company is expected to deliver over time. Over the next three years, HNI’s operating cash flows is expected to grow by a double-digit 19%, which is encouraging, should capital expenditure levels maintain at an appropriate level. Below is a table of HNI’s operating cash flow in the past year, as well as the anticipated level going forward.
Current +1 year +2 year +3 year
Operating Cash Flow (OCF) US$186m US$196m US$217m US$222m
OCF Growth Year-On-Year 4.9% 11% 2.4%
OCF Growth From Current Year 16% 19%

Next Steps:

Although its positive operating cash flow, and high future growth, is appealing, the low free cash flow yield is unattractive. This is because you would be better compensated in terms of cash yield, by investing in the market index, as well as take on lower diversification risk. However, cash is only one aspect of investing. Now you know to keep cash flows in mind, I recommend you continue to research HNI to get a more holistic view of the company by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is HNI worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether HNI is currently mispriced by the market.
  2. Management Team: An experienced management team on the helm increases our confidence in the business – take a look at who sits on HNI’s board and the CEO’s back ground.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: If you believe you should cushion your portfolio with something less risky, scroll through our free list of these great stocks here.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.