How far off is Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, I am going to take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today’s value. I will be using the Discounted Cash Flows (DCF) model. Don’t get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model. Please also note that this article was written in January 2019 so be sure check out the updated calculation by following the link below.
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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 begin with we have to get estimates of 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 this to its value today and sum up the total to get the present value of these cash flows.
5-year cash flow estimate
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||$5.49k||$5.89k||$6.11k||$6.49k||$6.94k|
|Source||Analyst x8||Analyst x5||Analyst x4||Analyst x4||Analyst x4|
|Present Value Discounted @ 12.88%||$4.86k||$4.62k||$4.25k||$4.00k||$3.79k|
Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US$22b
We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after the five years. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at an annual growth rate equal to the 10-year government bond rate of 2.7%. We discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 12.9%.
Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2023 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$6.9b × (1 + 2.7%) ÷ (12.9% – 2.7%) = US$70b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$70b ÷ ( 1 + 12.9%)5 = US$38b
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$60b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding, or the equivalent number if this is a depositary receipt or ADR. This results in an intrinsic value of $297.01. Compared to the current share price of $338.96, the stock is fair value, maybe slightly overvalued and not available at a discount at this time.
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 my result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. Because we are looking at Biogen 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 12.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.396. 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.
Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. For BIIB, there are three important factors you should further examine:
- Financial Health: Does BIIB 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.
- Future Earnings: How does BIIB’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 High Quality Alternatives: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of BIIB? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!
PS. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow for every stock on the NASDAQ every 6 hours. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.