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Is Portland General Electric Company (NYSE:POR) Spending Too Much Money?

Alvin Rowe

If you are currently a shareholder in Portland General Electric Company (NYSE:POR), or considering investing in the stock, you need to examine how the business generates cash, and how it is reinvested. After investment, what’s left over is what belongs to you, the investor. This also determines how much the stock is worth. Today we will examine POR’s ability to generate cash flows, as well as the level of capital expenditure it is expected to incur over the next couple of years, which will result in how much money goes to you.

View our latest analysis for Portland General Electric

What is free cash flow?

Free cash flow (FCF) is the amount of cash Portland General Electric has left after it pays off its expenses, including its net capital expenditures, which is what the company needs to spend each year to maintain or grow its business operations.

I will be analysing Portland General Electric’s FCF by looking at its FCF yield and its operating cash flow growth. The yield will tell us whether the stock is generating enough cash to compensate for the risk investors take on by holding a single stock, which I will compare to the market index. The growth will proxy for sustainability levels of this cash generation.

Free Cash Flow = Operating Cash Flows – Net Capital Expenditure

Free Cash Flow Yield = Free Cash Flow / Enterprise Value

where Enterprise Value = Market Capitalisation + Net Debt

The business reinvests all its cash profits as well as borrows more money, to maintain and grow the company. This leads to a negative FCF, as well as negative FCF yield, in which case is not a very useful measure.

NYSE:POR Net Worth September 21st 18

Does Portland General Electric have a favourable cash flow trend?

Portland General Electric’s FCF may be negative today, but is operating cash flows expected to improve in the future? Let’s examine the cash flow trend the company is anticipated to produce over time. Over the next few years, the company is expected to grow its cash from operations at a low single-digit rate of 1.0%, increasing from its current levels of US$602.0m to US$608.3m. Although this seems relatively robust, breaking down into year-on-year growth rates, POR’s operating cash flow growth is expected to decline from a rate of 10.1% next year, to -8.2% in the following year. However, the overall picture seems encouraging, should capital expenditure levels maintain at an appropriate level.

Next Steps:

Now you know to keep cash flows in mind, I recommend you continue to research Portland General Electric to get a more holistic view of the company by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is POR worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether POR is currently mispriced by the market.
  2. Management Team: An experienced management team on the helm increases our confidence in the business – take a look at who sits on Portland General Electric’s board and the CEO’s back ground.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: If you believe you should cushion your portfolio with something less risky, scroll through our free list of these great stocks 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.