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Are Investors Undervaluing Freshworks Inc. (NASDAQ:FRSH) By 25%?

Simply Wall St ·  11/29/2023 19:30

Key Insights

  • Using the 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity, Freshworks fair value estimate is US$26.01
  • Current share price of US$19.49 suggests Freshworks is potentially 25% undervalued
  • Analyst price target for FRSH is US$23.40 which is 10% below our fair value estimate

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Freshworks Inc. (NASDAQ:FRSH) 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. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

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.

See our latest analysis for Freshworks

Crunching The Numbers

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. 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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) estimate

2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$107.4m US$161.0m US$225.1m US$295.0m US$347.9m US$394.0m US$433.2m US$466.2m US$494.2m US$518.2m
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x11 Analyst x10 Analyst x3 Analyst x2 Est @ 17.97% Est @ 13.24% Est @ 9.94% Est @ 7.62% Est @ 6.00% Est @ 4.87%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.1% US$100 US$140 US$183 US$224 US$247 US$261 US$268 US$269 US$266 US$261

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$2.2b

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 7.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$518m× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (7.1%– 2.2%) = US$11b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$11b÷ ( 1 + 7.1%)10= US$5.5b

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$7.7b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$19.5, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 25% discount to where the stock price trades currently. The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it is better to view this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last cent.

dcf
NasdaqGS:FRSH Discounted Cash Flow November 29th 2023

Important Assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual cash flows. You don't have to agree with these inputs, I recommend redoing the calculations yourself and playing with them. 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 Freshworks 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 7.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.977. 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 Freshworks

Strength
  • Currently debt free.
  • Balance sheet summary for FRSH.
Weakness
  • Shareholders have been diluted in the past year.
Opportunity
  • Forecast to reduce losses next year.
  • Has sufficient cash runway for more than 3 years based on current free cash flows.
  • Trading below our estimate of fair value by more than 20%.
Threat
  • Not expected to become profitable over the next 3 years.
  • What else are analysts forecasting for FRSH?

Next Steps:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation is only one of many factors that you need to assess for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or overvalued. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Freshworks, we've put together three important aspects you should consider:

  1. Risks: You should be aware of the 2 warning signs for Freshworks we've uncovered before considering an investment in the company.
  2. Future Earnings: How does FRSH'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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the NASDAQGS every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement of any specific investment or investment strategy. Read more
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