Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Amarin Corporation plc (NASDAQ:AMRN) as an investment opportunity by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. This will be done using 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 would caution that there are many ways of valuing a company and, like the DCF, each technique has advantages and disadvantages in certain scenarios. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.
We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second 'steady growth' period. To begin with, we have to get estimates of 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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:
10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||-US$35.7m||US$45.7m||US$75.5m||US$146.5m||US$209.5m||US$258.6m||US$302.5m||US$340.4m||US$372.3m||US$399.0m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x3||Analyst x3||Analyst x2||Analyst x2||Analyst x2||Est @ 23.42%||Est @ 17.01%||Est @ 12.52%||Est @ 9.37%||Est @ 7.17%|
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.2%||-US$32.9||US$39.0||US$59.5||US$107||US$141||US$161||US$174||US$181||US$182||US$181|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$1.2b
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 8.2%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$399m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (8.2%– 2.0%) = US$6.6b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$6.6b÷ ( 1 + 8.2%)10= US$3.0b
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$4.2b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$6.1, the company appears quite undervalued at a 43% 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.
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. You don't have to agree with these inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. 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 Amarin 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 8.2%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.958. 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. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. 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. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For Amarin, we've compiled three pertinent aspects you should further research:
- Risks: Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Amarin , and understanding this should be part of your investment process.
- Future Earnings: How does AMRN'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. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every American stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock 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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