In this article I am going to calculate the intrinsic value of USA Truck Inc (NASDAQ:USAK) by projecting its future cash flows and then 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! Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model. Please also note that this article was written in November 2018 so be sure check out the updated calculation by following the link below.
Check out our latest analysis for USA Truck
Is USAK fairly valued?
I’m 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 perpetual stable growth rate. To begin with we have to get estimates of the next five years of cash flows. For this I used the consensus of the analysts covering the stock, as you can see below. The sum of these cash flows is then discounted to today’s value.
5-year cash flow estimate
|Levered FCF ($, Millions)||$12.95||$15.05||$14.15||$13.31||$12.51|
|Source||Analyst x2||Analyst x2||Est @ -5.97%||Est @ -5.97%||Est @ -5.97%|
|Present Value Discounted @ 12.71%||$11.49||$11.85||$9.88||$8.25||$6.88|
Present Value of 5-year Cash Flow (PVCF)= US$48m
We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after the five years. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at an annual growth rate equal to the 10-year government bond rate of 2.9%. We discount this to today’s value at a cost of equity of 12.7%.
Terminal Value (TV) = FCF2022 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$13m × (1 + 2.9%) ÷ (12.7% – 2.9%) = US$132m
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV) = TV / (1 + r)5 = US$132m ÷ ( 1 + 12.7%)5 = US$73m
The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next five years and the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US$121m. The last step is to then 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) then we use the equivalent number. This results in an intrinsic value of $14.89. Relative to the current share price of $20.08, the stock is quite expensive at the time of writing.
Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual cash flows. If you don’t agree with my result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. Because we are looking at USA Truck 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 12.7%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.384. 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.
Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. What is the reason for the share price to differ from the intrinsic value? For USAK, I’ve put together three fundamental factors you should look at:
- Financial Health: Does USAK 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.
- Future Earnings: How does USAK’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: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of USAK? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!
PS. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow for every stock on the NASDAQ every 6 hours. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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