Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of iCAD, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICAD) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.
Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the rationale behind this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model.
What's the estimated valuation?
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. 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, so we discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:
10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||-US$5.61m||US$1.14m||US$8.30m||US$12.6m||US$17.5m||US$21.3m||US$24.6m||US$27.5m||US$29.9m||US$31.9m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x2||Analyst x2||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Est @ 21.59%||Est @ 15.73%||Est @ 11.62%||Est @ 8.75%||Est @ 6.73%|
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.7%||-US$5.3||US$1.0||US$6.8||US$9.7||US$12.6||US$14.4||US$15.6||US$16.3||US$16.6||US$16.6|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$104m
The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after 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 (2.0%) 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 6.7%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$32m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (6.7%– 2.0%) = US$696m
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$696m÷ ( 1 + 6.7%)10= US$363m
The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next ten years plus the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US$467m. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$18.0, the company appears about fair value at a 11% discount to where the stock price trades currently. The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it is better to view this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last cent.
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. 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 iCAD 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 6.7%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.895. 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.
Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. 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 iCAD, there are three further aspects you should further research:
- Risks: You should be aware of the 2 warning signs for iCAD we've uncovered before considering an investment in the company.
- Future Earnings: How does ICAD'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.
- 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 NASDAQCM every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.
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