Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDGL) Shares Could Be 45% Below Their Intrinsic Value Estimate

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 11, 2022
NasdaqGS:MDGL
Source: Shutterstock

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDGL) by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

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.

See our latest analysis for Madrigal Pharmaceuticals

The method

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. 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) forecast

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF ($, Millions) -US$259.6m -US$266.6m -US$206.2m -US$111.1m US$45.8m US$67.1m US$89.3m US$110.5m US$129.5m US$145.9m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x3 Analyst x3 Analyst x3 Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Est @ 46.47% Est @ 33.11% Est @ 23.75% Est @ 17.2% Est @ 12.62%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 5.6% -US$246 -US$239 -US$175 -US$89.4 US$35.0 US$48.5 US$61.2 US$71.7 US$79.6 US$84.9

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = -US$369m

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after the first stage. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of a country's GDP growth. In this case we have used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (1.9%) to estimate future growth. In the same way as with the 10-year 'growth' period, we discount future cash flows to today's value, using a cost of equity of 5.6%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$146m× (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (5.6%– 1.9%) = US$4.1b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$4.1b÷ ( 1 + 5.6%)10= US$2.4b

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$2.0b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$64.4, the company appears quite good value at a 45% 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.

dcf
NasdaqGS:MDGL Discounted Cash Flow May 11th 2022

The 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. 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 Madrigal Pharmaceuticals 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 5.6%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.859. 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.

Moving On:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching 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. 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 Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, we've compiled three relevant aspects you should explore:

  1. Risks: For example, we've discovered 5 warning signs for Madrigal Pharmaceuticals (2 can't be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
  2. Future Earnings: How does MDGL'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.

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