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Investors Are Undervaluing Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:ZBRA) By 23.34%

Erna Eldridge

How far off is Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:ZBRA) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, I am going to take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today’s 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. If you are reading this and its not January 2019 then I highly recommend you check out the latest calculation for Zebra Technologies by following the link below.

Check out our latest analysis for Zebra Technologies

Is ZBRA fairly valued?

We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second ‘steady growth’ period. 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. I then discount the sum of these cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate.

5-year cash flow estimate

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Levered FCF ($, Millions) $654.28 $707.87 $835.28 $977.28 $1.13k
Source Analyst x4 Analyst x3 Est @ 18%, capped from 22.34% Est @ 17%, capped from 22.34% Est @ 16%, capped from 22.34%
Present Value Discounted @ 11.52% $586.71 $569.21 $602.30 $631.92 $657.32

Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US$3.0b

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 11.5%.

Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2023 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.1b × (1 + 2.9%) ÷ (11.5% – 2.9%) = US$14b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$14b ÷ ( 1 + 11.5%)5 = US$7.9b

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$11b. 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 $203.46. Relative to the current share price of $155.97, the stock is about right, perhaps slightly undervalued at a 23% discount to what it is available for right now.

NasdaqGS:ZBRA Intrinsic Value Export January 2nd 19

The assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. If you don’t agree with my result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. Because we are looking at Zebra Technologies 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 11.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.215. 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 ZBRA, I’ve compiled three relevant factors you should look at:

  1. Financial Health: Does ZBRA 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 ZBRA’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 ZBRA? 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 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.