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Brickworks Limited (ASX:BKW): Exploring Free Cash Flows

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If you are currently a shareholder in Brickworks Limited (ASX:BKW), or considering investing in the stock, you need to examine how the business generates cash, and how it is reinvested. After investment, what’s left over is what belongs to you, the investor. This also determines how much the stock is worth. I will take you through BKW’s cash flow health and the risk-return concept based on the stock’s cash flow yield, using the most recent financial data. This will help you think about the company from a cash perspective, which is a crucial factor to investing.

Check out our latest analysis for Brickworks

Is Brickworks generating enough cash?

Free cash flow (FCF) is the amount of cash Brickworks has left after it pays off its expenses, including its net capital expenditures, which is what the company needs to spend each year to maintain or grow its business operations.

I will be analysing Brickworks’s FCF by looking at its FCF yield and its operating cash flow growth. The yield will tell us whether the stock is generating enough cash to compensate for the risk investors take on by holding a single stock, which I will compare to the market index. The growth will proxy for sustainability levels of this cash generation.

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, Brickworks also generates a positive free cash flow. However, the yield of 0.78% is not sufficient to compensate for the level of risk investors are taking on. This is because Brickworks’s yield is well-below the market yield, in addition to serving higher risk compared to the well-diversified market index.

ASX:BKW Balance Sheet Net Worth, February 25th 2019
ASX:BKW Balance Sheet Net Worth, February 25th 2019

Is Brickworks’s yield sustainable?

Another important consideration is whether this return is likely to be maintained over the next couple of years. We can gauge this by looking at BKW’s expected operating cash flows. In the next few years, expected growth for BKW’s operating cash is negative, with operating cash flows expected to decline from its current level of AU$171m. This is unfavourable to its future outlook, especially if capital expenditure heads the opposite direction. However, breaking down growth into a year on year basis, BKW ‘s negative growth rate improves each year, from -19% in the upcoming year, to -4.5% by the end of the third year.

Next Steps:

Brickworks’s low free cash flow yield is deterring, in addition to its negative growth prospects. This means that, as an investor, you would be rewarded less than just holding a portfolio made up of all the stocks in the market, as well as taking on higher risk! Now you know to keep cash flows in mind, You should continue to research Brickworks to get a more holistic view of the company by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is BKW 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 BKW 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 Brickworks’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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.