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Is Craneware plc (LON:CRW) A Cash Cow?

Simply Wall St

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If you are currently a shareholder in Craneware plc (LON:CRW), 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’ve analysed below, the health and outlook of CRW’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.

View our latest analysis for Craneware

What is free cash flow?

Free cash flow (FCF) is the amount of cash Craneware 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.

The two ways to assess whether Craneware’s FCF is sufficient, is to compare the FCF yield to the market index yield, as well as determine whether the top-line operating cash flows will continue to grow.

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

Craneware’s yield of 2.18% indicates its sub-standard capacity to generate cash, compared to the stock market index as a whole, accounting for the size differential. This means investors are taking on more concentrated risk on Craneware but are not being adequately rewarded for doing so.

AIM:CRW Balance Sheet Net Worth, April 2nd 2019

Does Craneware have a favourable cash flow trend?

Does CRW’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. Over the next few years, the company is expected to grow its cash from operations at a double-digit rate of 51%, ramping up from its current levels of US$20m to US$30m in two years’ time. Although this seems impressive, breaking down into year-on-year growth rates, CRW's operating cash flow growth is expected to decline from a rate of 29% next year, to 17% in the following year. But the overall future outlook seems buoyant if CRW can maintain its levels of capital expenditure as well.

Next Steps:

The company’s low yield relative to the market index means you are taking on more risk holding the single-stock Craneware as opposed to the diversified market portfolio, and being compensated for less. Though the high operating cash flow growth in the future could change this. Keep in mind that cash is only one aspect of investment analysis and there are other important fundamentals to assess. I recommend you continue to research Craneware to get a better picture of the company by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is CRW 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 CRW 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 Craneware’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.