Daqo New Energy Corp. (NYSE:DQ) Shares Could Be 25% Above Their Intrinsic Value Estimate

Daqo New Energy Corp. Sponsored ADR +2.86%

Daqo New Energy Corp. Sponsored ADR

DQ

16.89

+2.86%

Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, Daqo New Energy fair value estimate is US$18.98
  • Daqo New Energy is estimated to be 25% overvalued based on current share price of US$23.74
  • Analyst price target for DQ is US$29.45, which is 55% above our fair value estimate

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Daqo New Energy Corp. (NYSE:DQ) by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Models like these may appear beyond the comprehension of a lay person, but they're fairly easy to follow.

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

View our latest analysis for Daqo New Energy

The Method

We're 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 a stable growth rate. To start off with, we need to estimate 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, 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

2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033
Levered FCF ($, Millions) -US$570.9m US$198.3m US$528.8m US$304.0m US$200.4m US$153.9m US$130.0m US$116.7m US$109.2m US$105.0m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x5 Analyst x6 Analyst x4 Analyst x1 Est @ -34.09% Est @ -23.18% Est @ -15.54% Est @ -10.19% Est @ -6.45% Est @ -3.83%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 9.8% -US$520 US$165 US$400 US$209 US$126 US$88.0 US$67.8 US$55.4 US$47.3 US$41.4

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$680m

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 (2.3%) 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 9.8%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$105m× (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (9.8%– 2.3%) = US$1.4b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$1.4b÷ ( 1 + 9.8%)10= US$567m

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next ten years plus the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is US$1.2b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$23.7, the company appears slightly overvalued at the time of writing. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

dcf
NYSE:DQ Discounted Cash Flow April 29th 2024

Important 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 Daqo New Energy 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 9.8%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.326. 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.

SWOT Analysis for Daqo New Energy

Strength
  • Currently debt free.
Weakness
  • Earnings declined over the past year.
Opportunity
  • Annual revenue is forecast to grow faster than the American market.
  • Good value based on P/E ratio compared to estimated Fair P/E ratio.
Threat
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Looking Ahead:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. What is the reason for the share price exceeding the intrinsic value? For Daqo New Energy, there are three further items you should further examine:

  1. Risks: You should be aware of the 1 warning sign for Daqo New Energy we've uncovered before considering an investment in the company.
  2. Future Earnings: How does DQ'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 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!

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.

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