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An Intrinsic Calculation For Varonis Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNS) Suggests It's 40% Undervalued

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In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Varonis Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNS) by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. One way to achieve this is by employing the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

We generally believe that a company's value is the present value of all of the cash it will generate in the future. However, a DCF is just one valuation metric among many, and it is not without flaws. 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 Varonis Systems

The model

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 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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 Levered FCF (\$, Millions) US\$22.8m US\$58.5m US\$138.0m US\$250.7m US\$345.9m US\$439.8m US\$526.0m US\$601.2m US\$664.9m US\$718.2m Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x11 Analyst x7 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 37.95% Est @ 27.16% Est @ 19.6% Est @ 14.31% Est @ 10.6% Est @ 8.01% Present Value (\$, Millions) Discounted @ 6.3% US\$21.4 US\$51.8 US\$115 US\$197 US\$255 US\$305 US\$344 US\$370 US\$385 US\$391

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US\$2.4b

The second stage is also known as Terminal Value, this is the business's cash flow after the first stage. The Gordon Growth formula is used to calculate Terminal Value at a future annual growth rate equal to the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield of 2.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.3%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 Ã— (1 + g) Ã· (r â€“ g) = US\$718mÃ— (1 + 2.0%) Ã· (6.3%â€“ 2.0%) = US\$17b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US\$17bÃ· ( 1 + 6.3%)10= US\$9.3b

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\$12b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US\$66.0, the company appears quite undervalued at a 40% 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.

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 Varonis 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 6.3%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.983. 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:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Varonis Systems, we've put together three essential elements you should assess:

1. Risks: Be aware that Varonis Systems is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...

2. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market's sentiment for VRNS'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 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. 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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