Estimating The Fair Value Of Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:ZBRA)

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Does the February share price for Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:ZBRA) reflect it’s really worth? Today, I will calculate the stock’s intrinsic value by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today’s value. This is done 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. If you are reading this and its not February 2019 then I highly recommend you check out the latest calculation for Zebra Technologies by following the link below.

View our latest analysis for Zebra Technologies

Crunching the numbers

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 start off with we need to estimate 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 the sum of these cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate.

5-year cash flow estimate

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Levered FCF ($, Millions) $655.03 $708.53 $836.07 $978.20 $1.13k
Source Analyst x4 Analyst x3 Est @ 18%, capped from 22.34% Est @ 17%, capped from 22.34% Est @ 16%, capped from 22.34%
Present Value Discounted @ 11.53% $587.32 $569.63 $602.69 $632.27 $657.62

Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US$3.0b

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business’s cash flow after the first stage. 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 11.5%.

Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2023 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.1b × (1 + 2.7%) ÷ (11.5% – 2.7%) = US$13b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$13b ÷ ( 1 + 11.5%)5 = US$7.7b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the cash flows, which in this case is US$11b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. If the stock is an depositary receipt (represents a specified number of shares in a foreign corporation) or ADR then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of $199.4. Relative to the current share price of $182.96, the stock is about right, perhaps slightly undervalued at a 8.2% discount to what it is available for right now.

NASDAQGS:ZBRA Intrinsic Value Export February 13th 19
NASDAQGS:ZBRA Intrinsic Value Export February 13th 19

The assumptions

I’d like to point out that 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 my result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. Because we are looking at Zebra Technologies 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 11.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.21. 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.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, DCF calculation shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. For ZBRA, there are three key factors you should further examine:

  1. Financial Health: Does ZBRA 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.
  2. Future Earnings: How does ZBRA’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: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of ZBRA? 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com.