Does the share price for NetScout Systems Inc (NASDAQ:NTCT) reflect it’s really worth? Today, I will calculate the stock’s intrinsic value by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. I will use the discounted cash flows (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple! Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model. Please also note that this article was written in September 2018 so be sure check out the updated calculation by following the link below.

View our latest analysis for NetScout Systems

### What’s the value?

I’m using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company’s growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have perpetual stable growth rate. To begin with we have to get estimates of the next five years of cash flows. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. I then discount this to its value today and sum up the total to get the present value of these cash flows.

#### 5-year cash flow forecast

2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022 | 2023 | |

Levered FCF ($, Millions) | $145.47 | $227.07 | $249.00 | $271.10 | $314.48 |

Source | Analyst x3 | Analyst x3 | Analyst x1 | Analyst x1 | Est @ 16%, capped from 25.07% |

Present Value Discounted @ 11.42% | $130.55 | $182.89 | $179.99 | $175.88 | $183.10 |

**Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)**= US$852.4m

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after the five years. 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 11.4%.

**Terminal Value (TV)** = FCF_{2022} × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$314.5m × (1 + 2.9%) ÷ (11.4% – 2.9%) = US$3.82b

**Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)** = TV / (1 + r)^{5} = US$3.82b ÷ ( 1 + 11.4%)^{5} = US$2.22b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the cash flows, which in this case is US$3.08b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding, or the equivalent number if this is a depositary receipt or ADR. **This results in an intrinsic value of $38.2**. Relative to the current share price of $24.15, the stock is quite good value at a 36.8% discount to what it is available for right now.

### 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 NetScout Systems 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 11.4%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.202. 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:

Whilst important, DCF calculation 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 NTCT, there are three important aspects you should further research:

**Financial Health**: Does NTCT 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.**Future Earnings**: How does NTCT’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.**Other High Quality Alternatives**: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of NTCT? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!

PS. Simply Wall St does a DCF calculation for every US stock every 6 hours, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search 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.*