NYSE:CIEN) by estimating the company’s future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Believe it or not, it’s not too difficult to follow, as you’ll see from our example!” data-reactid=”28″ type=”text”>In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Ciena Corporation (NYSE:CIEN) by estimating the company’s future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Believe it or not, it’s not too difficult to follow, as you’ll see from our example!
Simply Wall St analysis model.” data-reactid=”29″ type=”text”>Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. 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 use what is known as a 2-stage model, which simply means we have two different periods of growth rates for the company’s cash flows. Generally the first stage is higher growth, and the second stage is a lower growth phase. 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$476.4m||US$444.0m||US$501.0m||US$541.0m||US$564.0m||US$584.5m||US$603.2m||US$620.8m||US$637.6m||US$653.9m|
|Growth Rate Estimate Source||Analyst x3||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Analyst x1||Est @ 4.24%||Est @ 3.64%||Est @ 3.21%||Est @ 2.91%||Est @ 2.71%||Est @ 2.56%|
|Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.0%||US$441||US$381||US$398||US$397||US$384||US$368||US$352||US$335||US$319||US$302|
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 8.0%.
Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$12b÷ ( 1 + 8.0%)10= US$5.3b” data-reactid=”44″ type=”text”>Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$12b÷ ( 1 + 8.0%)10= US$5.3b
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$9.0b. 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$56.0, the company appears about fair value at a 4.4% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula – garbage in, garbage out.
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 Ciena 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 8.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.964. 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.
Whilst important, the DCF calculation 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?” For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. For Ciena, there are three additional elements you should further examine:
- Risks: Take risks, for example – Ciena has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
- Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market’s sentiment for CIEN’s future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
- 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!
search here.” data-reactid=”70″ type=”text”>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.
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. 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.