Estimating The Fair Value Of Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL)

Today I will be providing a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) as an investment opportunity by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today’s value. This is done using the Discounted Cash Flows (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple! Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model. If you are reading this and its not November 2018 then I highly recommend you check out the latest calculation for Hecla Mining by following the link below.

Step by step through the calculation

I use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of varying growth rates for the company’s cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a more stable growth phase. To start off with we need to estimate the next five years of cash flows. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. I then discount the sum of these cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate.

5-year cash flow estimate

 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 Levered FCF (\$, Millions) \$55.03 \$94.60 \$104.31 \$115.02 \$126.83 Source Analyst x6 Analyst x5 Est @ 10.27% Est @ 10.27% Est @ 10.27% Present Value Discounted @ 12.95% \$48.72 \$74.15 \$72.38 \$70.66 \$68.98

Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US\$335m

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the intial 5-year period we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows beyond the first stage. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of the GDP. In this case I have used the 10-year government bond rate (2.9%). In the same way as with the 5-year ‘growth’ period, we discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 13%.

Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2022 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US\$127m × (1 + 2.9%) ÷ (13% – 2.9%) = US\$1.3b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US\$1.3b ÷ ( 1 + 13%)5 = US\$710m

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next five years and the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US\$1.0b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. If the stock is an depositary receipt (represents a specified number of shares in a foreign corporation) then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of \$2.19. Relative to the current share price of \$2.49, the stock is fair value, maybe slightly overvalued at the time of writing.

Important assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual cash flows. You don’t have to agree with my inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. Because we are looking at Hecla Mining as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighed average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation I’ve used 13%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.419. This is derived from the Bottom-Up Beta method based on 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, DCF calculation shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. For HL, I’ve put together three important factors you should further examine:

1. Financial Health: Does HL 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.
2. Future Earnings: How does HL’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 High Quality Alternatives: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of HL? 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 does a DCF calculation for every US stock every 6 hours, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.