Are Investors Undervaluing Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (LON:RKT) By 24%?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 15, 2021
LSE:RKT
Source: Shutterstock

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (LON:RKT) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to today's value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. 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.

View our latest analysis for Reckitt Benckiser Group

What's the estimated valuation?

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. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next ten years. 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) forecast

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Levered FCF (£, Millions) UK£2.11b UK£2.33b UK£2.20b UK£2.35b UK£2.40b UK£2.44b UK£2.47b UK£2.51b UK£2.54b UK£2.57b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x12 Analyst x10 Analyst x3 Analyst x3 Est @ 2.09% Est @ 1.74% Est @ 1.49% Est @ 1.32% Est @ 1.2% Est @ 1.12%
Present Value (£, Millions) Discounted @ 5.2% UK£2.0k UK£2.1k UK£1.9k UK£1.9k UK£1.9k UK£1.8k UK£1.7k UK£1.7k UK£1.6k UK£1.6k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = UK£18b

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 0.9%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 5.2%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = UK£2.6b× (1 + 0.9%) ÷ (5.2%– 0.9%) = UK£61b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= UK£61b÷ ( 1 + 5.2%)10= UK£37b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is UK£55b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of UK£58.2, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 24% 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.

dcf
LSE:RKT Discounted Cash Flow September 15th 2021

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 Reckitt Benckiser Group 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 5.2%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.800. 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.

Moving On:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation 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 example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For Reckitt Benckiser Group, we've compiled three essential aspects you should look at:

  1. Risks: For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Reckitt Benckiser Group that you should be aware of.
  2. Future Earnings: How does RKT'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. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation for every British stock every day, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock just search here.

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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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