Two important questions to ask before you buy Guangshen Railway Company Limited (HKG:525) is, how it makes money and how it spends its cash. 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 525’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.
Is Guangshen Railway generating enough cash?
Guangshen Railway generates cash through its day-to-day business, which needs to be reinvested into the company in order for it to continue operating. What remains after this expenditure, is known as its free cash flow, or FCF, for short.
There are two methods I will use to evaluate the quality of Guangshen Railway’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, Guangshen Railway also generates a positive free cash flow. However, the yield of 4.03% is not sufficient to compensate for the level of risk investors are taking on. This is because Guangshen Railway’s yield is well-below the market yield, in addition to serving higher risk compared to the well-diversified market index.
Does Guangshen Railway have a favourable cash flow trend?
Can 525 improve its operating cash production in the future? Let’s take a quick look at the cash flow trend the company is expected to deliver over time. In the next couple of years, the company is expected to grow its cash from operations at a double-digit rate of 19%, ramping up from its current levels of CN¥3.0b to CN¥3.6b in two years’ time. Furthermore, breaking down growth into a year on year basis, 525 is able to increase its growth rate each year, from 5.3% next year, to 13% in the following year. The overall future outlook seems buoyant if 525 can maintain its levels of capital expenditure as well.
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, I recommend you continue to research Guangshen Railway to get a better picture of the company by looking at:
- Valuation: What is 525 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 525 is currently mispriced by the market.
- Management Team: An experienced management team on the helm increases our confidence in the business – take a look at who sits on Guangshen Railway’s board and the CEO’s back ground.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.