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A Look At The Fair Value Of Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL)

Thomas Auclair

Today I will be providing a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) as an investment opportunity by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today’s value. I will be using the discounted cash flows (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple! If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the basis for my calcs can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model. If you are reading this and its not August 2018 then I highly recommend you check out the latest calculation for Hecla Mining by following the link below.

View our latest analysis for Hecla Mining

Crunching the numbers

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. To start off with we need to estimate 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 the sum of these cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate.

5-year cash flow forecast

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Levered FCF ($, Millions) $59.37 $96.87 $122.53 $135.96 $150.86
Source Analyst x3 Analyst x6 Analyst x3 Est @ 10.96% Est @ 10.96%
Present Value Discounted @ 11.9% $53.05 $77.36 $87.45 $86.71 $85.98

Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US$390.54m

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the intial 5-year period we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows beyond 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 11.9%.

Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2022 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$150.86m × (1 + 2.9%) ÷ (11.9% – 2.9%) = US$1.73b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$1.73b ÷ ( 1 + 11.9%)5 = US$988.73m

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the cash flows, which in this case is US$1.38b. In the final step we 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) or ADR then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of $2.9. Compared to the current share price of $2.87, the stock is about right, perhaps slightly undervalued at a 0.97% discount to what it is available for right now.

NYSE:HL Intrinsic Value Export August 9th 18

The assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual 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 Hecla Mining 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 11.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.27. 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:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. For HL, I’ve compiled three relevant factors you should look at:

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