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Should Investors Be Happy About ASML Holding N.V.’s (AMS:ASML) Cash Levels?

Simply Wall St

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Two important questions to ask before you buy ASML Holding N.V. (AMS:ASML) 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 will take you through ASML’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.

View our latest analysis for ASML Holding

What is ASML Holding's cash yield?

ASML Holding 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.

I will be analysing ASML Holding’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

ASML Holding’s yield of 3.46% 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 ASML Holding but are not being adequately rewarded for doing so.

ENXTAM:ASML Balance Sheet Net Worth, April 5th 2019

Is ASML Holding'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 ASML’s expected operating cash flows. In the next couple of years, the company is expected to grow its cash from operations at a double-digit rate of 29%, ramping up from its current levels of €3.1b to €4.0b in three years’ time. Furthermore, breaking down growth into a year on year basis, ASML is able to increase its growth rate each year, from -12% in the upcoming year, to 3.4% by the end of the third year. The overall future outlook seems buoyant if ASML can maintain its levels of capital expenditure as well.

Next Steps:

Low free cash flow yield means you are not currently well-compensated for the risk you’re taking on by holding onto ASML Holding relative to a well-diversified market index. However, the high growth in operating cash flow may change the tides in the future. 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 ASML Holding to get a more holistic view of the company by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is ASML 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 ASML 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 ASML Holding’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.