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A Look At The Intrinsic Value Of Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR)

Simply Wall St

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) as an investment opportunity by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. This is done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. It may sound complicated, but actually it is quite simple!

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. 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.

See our latest analysis for Juniper Networks

What's the estimated valuation?

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, so we need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$717.4m US$668.7m US$642.0m US$627.3m US$620.6m US$619.1m US$621.4m US$626.2m US$632.9m US$640.9m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x7 Analyst x7 Est @ -4% Est @ -2.28% Est @ -1.07% Est @ -0.23% Est @ 0.36% Est @ 0.77% Est @ 1.06% Est @ 1.27%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.6% US$667 US$577 US$515 US$468 US$430 US$398 US$372 US$348 US$327 US$307

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$4.4b

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the intial 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 10-year government bond rate (1.7%) 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 7.6%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$641m× (1 + 1.7%) ÷ 7.6%– 1.7%) = US$11b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$11b÷ ( 1 + 7.6%)10= US$5.3b

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$9.7b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$21.8, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 26% 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.

NYSE:JNPR Intrinsic value April 8th 2020

The assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. If you don't agree with these result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the 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 Juniper Networks 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 7.6%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.081. 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:

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. 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. What is the reason for the share price to differ from the intrinsic value? For Juniper Networks, We've compiled three additional aspects you should look at:

  1. Risks: Take risks, for example - Juniper Networks has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for JNPR's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
  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 US stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.