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Why Wabash National Corporation’s (NYSE:WNC) Cash Is A Factor You Need To Consider

Donald Bartholomew

If you are currently a shareholder in Wabash National Corporation (NYSE:WNC), 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. I’ve analysed below, the health and outlook of WNC’s cash flow, which will help you understand the stock from a cash standpoint. Cash is an important concept to grasp as an investor, as it directly impacts the value of your shares and the future growth potential of your portfolio.

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Is Wabash National generating enough cash?

Free cash flow (FCF) is the amount of cash Wabash National 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.

The two ways to assess whether Wabash National’s FCF is sufficient, is to compare the FCF yield to the market index yield, as well as determine whether the top-line operating cash flows will continue to grow.

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

Wabash National’s yield of 7.29% last year indicates its ability to produce cash at the same rate as the market index, taking into account the company’s size. However, given that the risk for holding single-stock Wabash National is higher, this may mean inadequate compensation above and beyond merely investing in the whole market.

NYSE:WNC Net Worth January 31st 19

Does Wabash National have a favourable cash flow trend?

Does WNC’s future look brighter in terms of its ability to generate higher operating cash flows? This can be estimated by examining the trend of the company’s operating cash flow moving forward. Over the next few years, the company is expected to grow its cash from operations at a double-digit rate of 19%, ramping up from its current levels of US$140m to US$167m in two years’ time. Furthermore, breaking down growth into a year on year basis, WNC is able to increase its growth rate each year, from 8.4% next year, to 10% in the following year. The overall future outlook seems buoyant if WNC can maintain its levels of capital expenditure as well.

Next Steps:

Wabash National is compensating investors at a cash yield similar to the wider market portfolio. However, you are taking on more risk by holding a single-stock rather than the well-diversified market index. This means, in terms of risk and return, it’s not the best deal. Keep in mind that cash is only one aspect of investment analysis and there are other important fundamentals to assess. You should continue to research Wabash National to get a more holistic view of the company by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is WNC 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 WNC 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 Wabash National’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.