Stock Analysis

# Calculating The Intrinsic Value Of Smith & Nephew plc (LON:SN.)

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In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Smith & Nephew plc (LON:SN.) 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. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

Check out our latest analysis for Smith & Nephew

## 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.

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

 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 Levered FCF (\$, Millions) US\$601.0m US\$704.0m US\$777.8m US\$837.6m US\$885.5m US\$924.1m US\$955.4m US\$981.4m US\$1.00b US\$1.02b Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x5 Analyst x5 Est @ 10.48% Est @ 7.68% Est @ 5.72% Est @ 4.35% Est @ 3.39% Est @ 2.72% Est @ 2.25% Est @ 1.92% Present Value (\$, Millions) Discounted @ 8.0% US\$557 US\$604 US\$618 US\$616 US\$603 US\$583 US\$558 US\$530 US\$502 US\$474

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US\$5.6b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 1.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 8.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US\$1.0b× (1 + 1.2%) ÷ (8.0%– 1.2%) = US\$15b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US\$15b÷ ( 1 + 8.0%)10= US\$7.0b

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\$13b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of UK£11.8, the company appears about fair value at a 2.1% 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. 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 Smith & Nephew 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 8.0%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.982. 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 Smith & Nephew

Strength
• Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.
Weakness
• Earnings declined over the past year.
• Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Medical Equipment market.
Opportunity
• Annual earnings are forecast to grow faster than the British market.
• Good value based on P/E ratio and estimated fair value.
Threat
• Dividends are not covered by cash flow.
• Revenue is forecast to grow slower than 20% per year.

## Moving On:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. 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. For Smith & Nephew, we've put together three further aspects you should further research:

1. Risks: For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Smith & Nephew that you should be aware of before investing here.
2. Future Earnings: How does SN.'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. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the LSE every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

### Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

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