Anixter International Inc.’s (NYSE:AXE) Most Important Factor To Consider

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If you are currently a shareholder in Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE), or considering investing in the stock, you need to examine how the business generates cash, and how it is reinvested. This difference directly flows down to how much the stock is worth. Operating in the industry, Anixter International is currently valued at US$2.0b. Today we will examine Anixter International’s ability to generate cash flows, as well as the level of capital expenditure it is expected to incur over the next couple of years, which will result in how much money goes to you.

View our latest analysis for Anixter International

What is free cash flow?

Anixter International generates cash through its day-to-day business, which needs to be reinvested into the company in order for it to continue operating. What remains after this expenditure, is known as its free cash flow, or FCF, for short.

There are two methods I will use to evaluate the quality of Anixter International’s FCF: firstly, I will measure its FCF yield relative to the market index yield; secondly, I will examine whether its operating cash flow will continue to grow into the future, which will give us a sense of sustainability.

Free Cash Flow = Operating Cash Flows – Net Capital Expenditure

Free Cash Flow Yield = Free Cash Flow / Enterprise Value

where Enterprise Value = Market Capitalisation + Net Debt

Along with a positive operating cash flow, Anixter International also generates a positive free cash flow. However, the yield of 3.48% is not sufficient to compensate for the level of risk investors are taking on. This is because Anixter International’s yield is well-below the market yield, in addition to serving higher risk compared to the well-diversified market index.

NYSE:AXE Net Worth February 4th 19
NYSE:AXE Net Worth February 4th 19

What’s the cash flow outlook for Anixter International?

Can Anixter International improve its operating cash production in the future? Let’s take a quick look at the cash flow trend the company is expected to deliver over time. In the next few years, Anixter International’s operating cash flows is expected to grow by a double-digit 60%, which is encouraging, should capital expenditure levels maintain at an appropriate level. Below is a table of Anixter International’s operating cash flow in the past year, as well as the anticipated level going forward.
Current +1 year +2 year
Operating Cash Flow (OCF) US$138m US$171m US$220m
OCF Growth Year-On-Year 24% 29%
OCF Growth From Current Year 60%

Next Steps:

Low free cash flow yield means you are not currently well-compensated for the risk you’re taking on by holding onto Anixter International relative to a well-diversified market index. However, the high growth in operating cash flow may change the tides in the future. Keep in mind that cash is only one aspect of investment analysis and there are other important fundamentals to assess. I suggest you continue to research Anixter International to get a more holistic view of the company by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is AXE worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether AXE is currently mispriced by the market.
  2. Management Team: An experienced management team on the helm increases our confidence in the business – take a look at who sits on Anixter International’s board and the CEO’s back ground.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: If you believe you should cushion your portfolio with something less risky, scroll through our free list of these great stocks 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.