Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:VECO) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. This is done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.
Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.
Is Veeco Instruments fairly valued?
We use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of growth rates for the company's cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a lower growth phase. 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
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||-US$5.9m||US$15.1m||US$35.9m||US$55.0m||US$75.9m||US$96.5m||US$115.5m||US$132.3m||US$146.5m||US$158.6m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Est @ 53.23%||Est @ 37.93%||Est @ 27.21%||Est @ 19.72%||Est @ 14.47%||Est @ 10.79%||Est @ 8.22%|
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 10%||-US$5.3||US$12.4||US$26.7||US$37.0||US$46.3||US$53.3||US$57.8||US$59.9||US$60.1||US$58.9|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$407m
We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at a future annual growth rate equal to the 10-year government bond rate of 2.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 10%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$159m× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ 10%– 2.2%) = US$2.0b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$2.0b÷ ( 1 + 10%)10= US$736m
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$1.1b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$13.6, the company appears quite undervalued at a 41% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.
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 Veeco Instruments 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 10%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.362. 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.
Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" 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. What is the reason for the share price to differ from the intrinsic value? For Veeco Instruments, We've put together three relevant aspects you should look at:
- Risks: We feel that you should assess the 1 warning sign for Veeco Instruments we've flagged before making an investment in the company.
- Future Earnings: How does VECO'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 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. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every US stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.
Love or hate this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Thank you for reading.