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Should You Care About Ingredion Incorporated’s (NYSE:INGR) Cash Levels?

Jacob Boyd

Ingredion Incorporated (NYSE:INGR) shareholders, and potential investors, need to understand how much cash the business makes from its core operational activities, as well as how much is invested back into the business. What is left after investment, determines the value of the stock since this cash flow technically belongs to investors of the company. I will take you through INGR’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.

See our latest analysis for Ingredion

What is Ingredion’s cash yield?

Ingredion’s free cash flow (FCF) is the level of cash flow the business generates from its operational activities, after it reinvests in the company as capital expenditure. This type of expense is needed for Ingredion to continue to grow, or at least, maintain its current operations.

There are two methods I will use to evaluate the quality of Ingredion’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, Ingredion also generates a positive free cash flow. However, the yield of 3.87% is not sufficient to compensate for the level of risk investors are taking on. This is because Ingredion’s yield is well-below the market yield, in addition to serving higher risk compared to the well-diversified market index.

NYSE:INGR Net Worth September 21st 18

Does Ingredion have a favourable cash flow trend?

Does INGR’s future look brighter in terms of its ability to generate higher operating cash flows? This can be estimated by examining the trend of the company’s operating cash flow moving forward. In the next couple of years, the company is expected to grow its cash from operations at a single-digit rate of 6.7%, increasing from its current levels of US$819.0m to US$873.5m in three years’ time. Furthermore, breaking down growth into a year on year basis, INGR is able to increase its growth rate each year, from -0.08% in the upcoming year, to 3.0% by the end of the third year. The overall future outlook seems buoyant if INGR can maintain its levels of capital expenditure as well.

Next Steps:

Given a low free cash flow yield, on the basis of cash, Ingredion becomes a less appealing investment. This is because you would be better compensated in terms of cash yield, by investing in the market index, as well as take on lower diversification risk. Keep in mind that cash is only one aspect of investment analysis and there are other important fundamentals to assess. You should continue to research Ingredion to get a more holistic view of the company by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is INGR 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 INGR 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 Ingredion’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.