Stock Analysis

Is There An Opportunity With Baxter International Inc.'s (NYSE:BAX) 36% Undervaluation?

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NYSE:BAX
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Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Before you think you won't be able to understand it, just read on! It's actually much less complex than you'd imagine.

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.

View our latest analysis for Baxter International

The calculation

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) US$1.98b US$2.37b US$2.79b US$2.93b US$3.03b US$3.12b US$3.21b US$3.29b US$3.37b US$3.44b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 3.59% Est @ 3.1% Est @ 2.76% Est @ 2.52% Est @ 2.35% Est @ 2.23%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 6.1% US$1.9k US$2.1k US$2.3k US$2.3k US$2.3k US$2.2k US$2.1k US$2.0k US$2.0k US$1.9k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$21b

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 2.0%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 6.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$3.4b× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (6.1%– 2.0%) = US$84b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$84b÷ ( 1 + 6.1%)10= US$47b

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$68b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of US$86.0, the company appears quite good value at a 36% 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
NYSE:BAX Discounted Cash Flow January 21st 2022

Important assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the 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 Baxter International 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 6.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.949. 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:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Preferably you'd apply different cases and assumptions and see how they would impact the company's valuation. For instance, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can dramatically alter the overall result. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For Baxter International, we've put together three additional aspects you should assess:

  1. Risks: To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Baxter International .
  2. Future Earnings: How does BAX'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 NYSE every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

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