How far off is CareDx, Inc (NASDAQ:CDNA) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we'll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by taking the foreast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. This is done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.
Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the rationale behind this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model.
We're 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 a stable growth rate. To begin with, we have to get estimates of the next ten years of cash flows. Where possible we use analyst estimates, but when these aren't available we extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the last estimate or reported value. We assume companies with shrinking free cash flow will slow their rate of shrinkage, and that companies with growing free cash flow will see their growth rate slow, over this period. We do this to reflect that growth tends to slow more in the early years than it does in later years.
A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:
10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||US$4.00m||US$27.2m||US$51.5m||US$72.3m||US$93.0m||US$112.2m||US$129.0m||US$143.2m||US$155.0m||US$164.7m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Est @ 40.31%||Est @ 28.74%||Est @ 20.64%||Est @ 14.97%||Est @ 11%||Est @ 8.22%||Est @ 6.28%|
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.9%||US$3.7||US$23.4||US$41.0||US$53.3||US$63.6||US$71.0||US$75.7||US$77.9||US$78.1||US$76.9|
("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$564m
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 a country's GDP growth. In this case we have used the 10-year government bond rate (1.7%) to estimate future growth. In the same way as with the 10-year 'growth' period, we discount future cash flows to today's value, using a cost of equity of 7.9%.
Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$165m× (1 + 1.7%) ÷ 7.9%– 1.7%) = US$2.7b
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$2.7b÷ ( 1 + 7.9%)10= US$1.3b
The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is US$1.8b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$19.5, the company appears reasonably undervalued at a discount of over 50%. This might sound concerning, and we recommend potential investors to dig deeper. What is going on here to cause the market to undervalue the stock so much? The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it is better to view this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last cent.
The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. Part of investing is coming up with your own evaluation of a company's future performance, so try the calculation yourself and check your own assumptions. The DCF also does not consider the possible cyclicality of an industry, or a company's future capital requirements, so it does not give a full picture of a company's potential performance. Given that we are looking at CareDx as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighted average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation we've used 7.9%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.136. Beta is a measure of a stock's volatility, compared to the market as a whole. We get our beta from the industry average beta of globally comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.
Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" If a company grows at a different rate, or if its cost of equity or risk free rate changes sharply, the output can look very different. What is the reason for the share price to differ from the intrinsic value? For CareDx, We've put together three important factors you should further examine:
- Risks: For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for CareDx that you should be aware of before investing here.
- Future Earnings: How does CDNA'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: Do you like a good all-rounder? 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 updates its DCF calculation for every US stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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. Thank you for reading.