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Are Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR) Investors Paying Above The Intrinsic Value?

How far off is Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR) 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. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.

We would caution that there are many ways of valuing a company and, like the DCF, each technique has advantages and disadvantages in certain scenarios. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Monolithic Power Systems

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.

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Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, 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) forecast

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$600.8m

US$659.8m

US$840.7m

US$993.8m

US$1.10b

US$1.19b

US$1.25b

US$1.31b

US$1.36b

US$1.41b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x5

Analyst x4

Analyst x2

Analyst x2

Analyst x1

Est @ 7.40%

Est @ 5.77%

Est @ 4.63%

Est @ 3.84%

Est @ 3.28%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 9.1%

US$550

US$554

US$647

US$700

US$713

US$702

US$680

US$652

US$620

US$587

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$6.4b

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 (2.0%) 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 9.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.4b× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (9.1%– 2.0%) = US$20b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$20b÷ ( 1 + 9.1%)10= US$8.3b

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$15b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$383, 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
dcf

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 Monolithic Power Systems 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 9.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.193. 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 Monolithic Power Systems

Strength

  • Earnings growth over the past year exceeded the industry.

  • Currently debt free.

Weakness

  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Semiconductor market.

  • Expensive based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.

Opportunity

  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow faster than the American market.

Threat

  • Revenue is forecast to grow slower than 20% per year.

Moving On:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it is only one of many factors that you need to assess for 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a premium to intrinsic value? For Monolithic Power Systems, we've put together three further aspects you should consider:

  1. Risks: Case in point, we've spotted 2 warning signs for Monolithic Power Systems you should be aware of, and 1 of them is potentially serious.

  2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for MPWR's future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.

  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. 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.

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