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Should You Care About US Physical Therapy Inc’s (NYSE:USPH) Cash Levels?

Sadie Atkinson

US Physical Therapy Inc (NYSE:USPH) 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’ve analysed below, the health and outlook of USPH’s cash flow, which will help you understand the stock from a cash standpoint. Cash is an important concept to grasp as an investor, as it directly impacts the value of your shares and the future growth potential of your portfolio.

See our latest analysis for U.S. Physical Therapy

Is U.S. Physical Therapy generating enough cash?

Free cash flow (FCF) is the amount of cash U.S. Physical Therapy 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 U.S. Physical Therapy’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, U.S. Physical Therapy also generates a positive free cash flow. However, the yield of 2.53% is not sufficient to compensate for the level of risk investors are taking on. This is because U.S. Physical Therapy’s yield is well-below the market yield, in addition to serving higher risk compared to the well-diversified market index.

NYSE:USPH Net Worth September 14th 18

Is U.S. Physical Therapy’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 USPH’s expected operating cash flows. In the next few years, the company is expected to grow its cash from operations at a single-digit rate of 9.0%, increasing from its current levels of US$65.0m to US$70.8m in two years’ time. Furthermore, breaking down growth into a year on year basis, USPH is able to increase its growth rate each year, from -1.6% next year, to 10.7% in the following year. The overall future outlook seems buoyant if USPH can maintain its levels of capital expenditure as well.

Next Steps:

Although its positive operating cash flow, and high future growth, is appealing, the low free cash flow yield is unattractive. 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. However, cash is only one aspect of investing. Now you know to keep cash flows in mind, You should continue to research U.S. Physical Therapy to get a more holistic view of the company by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is USPH 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 USPH 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 U.S. Physical Therapy’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.