In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of United-Guardian, Inc. (NASDAQ:UG) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. I will be using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!
Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company’s value, and a DCF is just one method. 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.
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Crunching the numbers
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. Seeing as no analyst estimates of free cash flow are available to us, we have extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the company’s last 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)||$4.77||$4.85||$4.94||$5.05||$5.17||$5.30||$5.43||$5.58||$5.72||$5.88|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Est @ 1.2%||Est @ 1.66%||Est @ 1.98%||Est @ 2.21%||Est @ 2.36%||Est @ 2.47%||Est @ 2.55%||Est @ 2.6%||Est @ 2.64%||Est @ 2.67%|
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.5%||$4.44||$4.19||$3.98||$3.78||$3.60||$3.43||$3.28||$3.13||$2.99||$2.85|
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= $35.67m
“Est” = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St
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 10-year government bond rate (2.7%) 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) = FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$5.9m × (1 + 2.7%) ÷ (7.5% – 2.7%) = US$127m
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)10 = $US$127m ÷ ( 1 + 7.5%)10 = $61.44m
The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is $97.11m. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. This results in an intrinsic value estimate of $21.14. Compared to the current share price of $19.18, the company appears about fair value at a 9.3% 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.
The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the 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 United-Guardian 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.
Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Rather it should be seen as a guide to “what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?” If a company grows at a different rate, or if its cost of equity or risk free rate changes sharply, the output can look very different. For United-Guardian, I’ve put together three fundamental aspects you should further research:
- Financial Health: Does UG have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
- Other High Quality Alternatives: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of UG? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!
PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every US stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.