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Is Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) Trading At A 45% Discount?

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How far off is Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we’ll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today’s value. We will take advantage of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model for this purpose. Before you think you won’t be able to understand it, just read on! It’s actually much less complex than you’d imagine.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company’s value, and a DCF is just one method. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for Gilead Sciences

What’s the estimated valuation?

We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second ‘steady growth’ period. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next ten years. 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) estimate

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$9.16b

US$8.94b

US$9.89b

US$10.5b

US$10.9b

US$11.3b

US$11.6b

US$12.0b

US$12.3b

US$12.6b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x5

Analyst x5

Analyst x4

Analyst x4

Est @ 4.2%

Est @ 3.6%

Est @ 3.19%

Est @ 2.9%

Est @ 2.69%

Est @ 2.55%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 9.7%

US$8.3k

US$7.4k

US$7.5k

US$7.2k

US$6.8k

US$6.5k

US$6.1k

US$5.7k

US$5.3k

US$5.0k

(“Est” = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$66b

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the initial 10-year period, we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all future cash flows beyond the first stage. 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 9.7%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$13b× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (9.7%– 2.2%) = US$172b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$172b÷ ( 1 + 9.7%)10= US$68b

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$134b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$58.5, the company appears quite undervalued at a 45% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Valuations are imprecise instruments though, rather like a telescope – move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Do keep this in mind.

dcf
dcf

The assumptions

We would point out that the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate and of course the actual 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 Gilead Sciences 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 9.7%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.249. 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.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Rather it should be seen as a guide to “what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?” If a company grows at a different rate, or if its cost of equity or risk free rate changes sharply, the output can look very different. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For Gilead Sciences, we’ve compiled three relevant items you should look at:

  1. Risks: Be aware that Gilead Sciences is showing 5 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about…

  2. Future Earnings: How does GILD’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 High Quality Alternatives: Do you like a good all-rounder? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!

PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every American stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock 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.

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About the author

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Erin Clark

Erin is a sports enthusiast who loves indulging in occasional football matches. She is a passionate journalist who flaunts a perfect hold over the English language. She currently caters her skills for the sports and health section of Report Door.

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