Stock Analysis

# Is There An Opportunity With NetEase, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:NTES) 50% Undervaluation?

How far off is NetEase, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTES) 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 forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Models like these may appear beyond the comprehension of a lay person, but they're fairly easy to follow.

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.

Our analysis indicates that NTES is potentially undervalued!

## Step By Step Through The Calculation

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 need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:

#### 10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 Levered FCF (CN¥, Millions) CN¥22.3b CN¥24.6b CN¥31.4b CN¥36.5b CN¥40.2b CN¥43.3b CN¥45.9b CN¥48.1b CN¥50.1b CN¥51.7b Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x12 Analyst x10 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Est @ 10.26% Est @ 7.77% Est @ 6.04% Est @ 4.82% Est @ 3.97% Est @ 3.37% Present Value (CN¥, Millions) Discounted @ 8.4% CN¥20.6k CN¥21.0k CN¥24.6k CN¥26.4k CN¥26.9k CN¥26.7k CN¥26.1k CN¥25.3k CN¥24.3k CN¥23.1k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CN¥245b

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the initial 10-year period, we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all future cash flows beyond the first stage. 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 8.4%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CN¥52b× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (8.4%– 2.0%) = CN¥824b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CN¥824b÷ ( 1 + 8.4%)10= CN¥368b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is CN¥613b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US\$71.2, the company appears quite good value at a 50% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Valuations are imprecise instruments though, rather like a telescope - move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Do keep this in mind.

## Important Assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the 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 NetEase 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 8.4%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.988. 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.

### SWOT Analysis for NetEase

Strength
• Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.
• Debt is not viewed as a risk.
• Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.
Weakness
• Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Entertainment market.
Opportunity
• Annual revenue is forecast to grow faster than the American market.
• Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.
Threat
• Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the American market.

## Next Steps:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. 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. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For NetEase, there are three additional aspects you should further examine:

1. Financial Health: Does NTES 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 NTES'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 NASDAQGS every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

### Valuation is complex, but we're here to simplify it.

Discover if NetEase might be undervalued or overvalued with our detailed analysis, featuring fair value estimates, potential risks, dividends, insider trades, and its financial condition.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.

#### NetEase

Engages in online games, music streaming, online intelligent learning services, and internet content services businesses in China and internationally.

Very undervalued with flawless balance sheet and pays a dividend.