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Is There An Opportunity With Workiva Inc.'s (NYSE:WK) 33% Undervaluation?

Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, Workiva fair value estimate is US$141

  • Workiva is estimated to be 33% undervalued based on current share price of US$94.57

  • Our fair value estimate is 22% higher than Workiva's analyst price target of US$116

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Workiva Inc. (NYSE:WK) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

We generally believe that a company's value is the present value of all of the cash it will generate in the future. However, a DCF is just one valuation metric among many, and it is not without flaws. 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.

View our latest analysis for Workiva

What's The Estimated Valuation?

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 start off with, we need to estimate 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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, so we discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

2033

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$91.4m

US$169.4m

US$235.9m

US$302.3m

US$363.8m

US$418.1m

US$464.5m

US$503.7m

US$536.8m

US$565.1m

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x7

Analyst x5

Est @ 39.23%

Est @ 28.13%

Est @ 20.36%

Est @ 14.92%

Est @ 11.11%

Est @ 8.44%

Est @ 6.57%

Est @ 5.27%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.5%

US$85.0

US$147

US$190

US$226

US$254

US$271

US$280

US$283

US$280

US$275

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$2.3b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (2.2%) 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 7.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$565m× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (7.5%– 2.2%) = US$11b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$11b÷ ( 1 + 7.5%)10= US$5.3b

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next ten years plus the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US$7.6b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$94.6, the company appears quite undervalued at a 33% discount to where the stock price trades currently. 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.

dcf
dcf

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 these inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. 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 Workiva 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 7.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.053. 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.

SWOT Analysis for Workiva

Strength

  • No major strengths identified for WK.

Weakness

  • Shareholders have been diluted in the past year.

Opportunity

  • Forecast to reduce losses next year.

  • Has sufficient cash runway for more than 3 years based on current free cash flows.

  • Trading below our estimate of fair value by more than 20%.

Threat

  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow.

  • Total liabilities exceed total assets, which raises the risk of financial distress.

  • Not expected to become profitable over the next 3 years.

Next Steps:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Workiva, we've put together three pertinent factors you should explore:

  1. Risks: We feel that you should assess the 4 warning signs for Workiva (1 is concerning!) we've flagged before making an investment in the company.

  2. Future Earnings: How does WK'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 Solid Businesses: Low debt, high returns on equity and good past performance are fundamental to a strong business. Why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals to see if there are other companies you may not have considered!

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

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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