Stock Analysis

Does This Valuation Of Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:ARCT) Imply Investors Are Overpaying?

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NasdaqGM:ARCT
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In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:ARCT) by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings

Is Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings fairly valued?

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. 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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$46.2m US$100.5m US$121.9m US$116.6m US$114.0m US$113.0m US$112.9m US$113.6m US$114.7m US$116.2m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Est @ -2.23% Est @ -0.95% Est @ -0.05% Est @ 0.58% Est @ 1.02% Est @ 1.32%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.5% US$43.0 US$87.0 US$98.3 US$87.5 US$79.6 US$73.4 US$68.3 US$63.9 US$60.1 US$56.6

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$717m

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 7.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$116m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (7.5%– 2.0%) = US$2.2b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$2.2b÷ ( 1 + 7.5%)10= US$1.1b

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next ten years plus the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US$1.8b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$92.4, the company appears reasonably expensive at the time of writing. 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.

dcf
NasdaqGM:ARCT Discounted Cash Flow December 29th 2020

The assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual 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 Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings 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 1.035. 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.

Next Steps:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. Why is the intrinsic value lower than the current share price? For Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings, there are three further elements you should look at:

  1. Risks: For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings (1 doesn't sit too well with us) you should be aware of.
  2. Future Earnings: How does ARCT'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: Do you like a good all-rounder? 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 American stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

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