Is AtriCure, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATRC) Expensive For A Reason? A Look At Its Intrinsic Value

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 11, 2022
NasdaqGM:ATRC
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How far off is AtriCure, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATRC) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

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. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for AtriCure

Is AtriCure fairly valued?

We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second 'steady growth' period. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next ten years. 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) estimate

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) -US$18.0m -US$4.00m US$22.0m US$35.9m US$52.0m US$68.7m US$84.4m US$98.5m US$110.5m US$120.6m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 63.25% Est @ 44.85% Est @ 31.97% Est @ 22.96% Est @ 16.64% Est @ 12.23% Est @ 9.14%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 5.7% -US$17.0 -US$3.6 US$18.6 US$28.7 US$39.3 US$49.1 US$57.1 US$63.0 US$66.8 US$69.0

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$371m

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at a future annual growth rate equal to the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield of 1.9%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 5.7%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$121m× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (5.7%– 1.9%) = US$3.2b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$3.2b÷ ( 1 + 5.7%)10= US$1.8b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is US$2.2b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$61.1, the company appears slightly overvalued at the time of writing. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

dcf
NasdaqGM:ATRC Discounted Cash Flow April 11th 2022

Important assumptions

We would point out that the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate and of course the actual 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 AtriCure 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 5.7%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.902. 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.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. What is the reason for the share price exceeding the intrinsic value? For AtriCure, we've compiled three fundamental elements you should look at:

  1. Risks: Take risks, for example - AtriCure has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
  2. Future Earnings: How does ATRC'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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the NASDAQGM every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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