Calithera Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:CALA) Shares Could Be 46% Below Their Intrinsic Value Estimate

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 17, 2021

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Calithera Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:CALA) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. 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 want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the rationale behind this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model.

See our latest analysis for Calithera Biosciences

The method

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. 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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, 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

2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Levered FCF ($, Millions) -US$55.8m -US$56.7m -US$59.6m US$3.10m US$12.9m US$20.4m US$28.8m US$37.3m US$45.2m US$52.2m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 58.06% Est @ 41.25% Est @ 29.49% Est @ 21.26% Est @ 15.49%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.5% -US$51.9 -US$49.1 -US$48.0 US$2.3 US$9.0 US$13.2 US$17.3 US$20.9 US$23.6 US$25.3

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = -US$37m

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 7.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$52m× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (7.5%– 2.0%) = US$974m

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$974m÷ ( 1 + 7.5%)10= US$472m

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$435m. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$3.3, the company appears quite good value at a 46% discount to where the stock price trades currently. 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.

NasdaqGS:CALA Discounted Cash Flow January 17th 2021

Important assumptions

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. Part of investing is coming up with your own evaluation of a company's future performance, so try the calculation yourself and check your own 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 Calithera Biosciences 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 1.046. 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 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. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Calithera Biosciences, we've put together three additional aspects you should consider:

  1. Risks: For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for Calithera Biosciences (1 is a bit unpleasant) you should be aware of.
  2. Future Earnings: How does CALA'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. 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.

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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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