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Calculating The Intrinsic Value Of Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK)

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·6 min read
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Does the May share price for Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. I will be 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.

See our latest analysis for Verisk Analytics

Crunching the numbers

We're using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company's growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have a stable growth rate. 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) estimate

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$839.1m

US$942.5m

US$1.17b

US$1.32b

US$1.45b

US$1.56b

US$1.65b

US$1.73b

US$1.80b

US$1.86b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x6

Analyst x6

Analyst x1

Est @ 12.86%

Est @ 9.67%

Est @ 7.43%

Est @ 5.87%

Est @ 4.77%

Est @ 4.01%

Est @ 3.47%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.9%

US$778

US$810

US$934

US$977

US$993

US$989

US$970

US$942

US$909

US$871

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$9.2b

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 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 7.9%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.9b× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ 7.9%– 2.2%) = US$34b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$34b÷ ( 1 + 7.9%)10= US$16b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is US$25b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$163, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. 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.

NasdaqGS:VRSK Intrinsic value May 28th 2020
NasdaqGS:VRSK Intrinsic value May 28th 2020

The assumptions

Now 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 Verisk Analytics 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 7.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.942. 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.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, DCF calculation 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. For Verisk Analytics, There are three pertinent factors you should look at:

  1. Risks: Be aware that Verisk Analytics is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...

  2. Future Earnings: How does VRSK'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.

Love or hate this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email 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. 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.