Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Tabula Rasa HealthCare, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRHC) as an investment opportunity by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. One way to achieve this is by employing 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.
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.
Crunching the numbers
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, 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
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||US$9.30m||US$22.3m||US$39.7m||US$58.5m||US$73.3m||US$86.7m||US$98.3m||US$108.1m||US$116.3m||US$123.2m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Est @ 25.27%||Est @ 18.29%||Est @ 13.4%||Est @ 9.98%||Est @ 7.58%||Est @ 5.9%|
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.5%||US$8.7||US$19.7||US$32.9||US$45.5||US$53.5||US$59.4||US$63.2||US$65.3||US$65.9||US$65.6|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$479m
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 2.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.5%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$123m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (6.5%– 2.0%) = US$2.8b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$2.8b÷ ( 1 + 6.5%)10= US$1.5b
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$2.0b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$42.9, the company appears quite good value at a 46% 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.
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 Tabula Rasa HealthCare 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 0.957. 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.
Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching 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. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For Tabula Rasa HealthCare, we've compiled three relevant elements you should explore:
- Risks: For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Tabula Rasa HealthCare that you should be aware of.
- Future Earnings: How does TRHC'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 NASDAQGM every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.
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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. 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.
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