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Investors Are Undervaluing Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ:ADAP) By 21.72%

Ray Foley

Today I will be providing a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ:ADAP) as an investment opportunity by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today’s value. I will be using the Discounted Cash Flows (DCF) model. Don’t get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model. If you are reading this and its not June 2018 then I highly recommend you check out the latest calculation for Adaptimmune Therapeutics by following the link below. See our latest analysis for Adaptimmune Therapeutics

Step by step through the calculation

I use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of varying growth rates for the company’s cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a more stable growth phase. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next five years. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. The sum of these cash flows is then discounted to today’s value.

5-year cash flow estimate

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Levered FCF ($, Millions) $-109.00 $-99.50 $-154.50 $-1.10 $211.00
Source Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1
Present Value Discounted @ 10.59% $-98.56 $-81.35 $-114.22 $-0.74 $127.53

Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= -US$167.33m

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business’s cash flow after the first stage. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of the GDP. In this case I have used the 10-year government bond rate (2.9%). In the same way as with the 5-year ‘growth’ period, we discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 10.6%.

Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2022 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$211.00m × (1 + 2.9%) ÷ (10.6% – 2.9%) = US$2.84b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$2.84b ÷ ( 1 + 10.6%)5 = US$1.72b

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next five years and the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US$1.55b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. If the stock is an depositary receipt (represents a specified number of shares in a foreign corporation) then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of $16.47. Compared to the current share price of $12.89, the stock is about right, perhaps slightly undervalued at a 21.72% discount to what it is available for right now.

NasdaqGS:ADAP Intrinsic Value June 27th 18

The assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. You don’t have to agree with my inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. Because we are looking at Adaptimmune Therapeutics as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighed average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation I’ve used 10.6%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.084. This is derived from the Bottom-Up Beta method based on comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.

Next Steps:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. What is the reason for the share price to differ from the intrinsic value? For ADAP, I’ve compiled three fundamental factors you should further examine:

  1. Financial Health: Does ADAP have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
  2. Future Earnings: How does ADAP’s growth rate compare to its peers and the wider market? Dig deeper into the analyst consensus number for the upcoming years by interacting with our free analyst growth expectation chart.
  3. Other High Quality Alternatives: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of ADAP? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!

PS. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow for every stock on the NASDAQ every 6 hours. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.


To help readers see pass 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.