Stock Analysis

Estimating The Intrinsic Value Of Becton, Dickinson and Company (NYSE:BDX)

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NYSE:BDX
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Does the December share price for Becton, Dickinson and Company (NYSE:BDX) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present 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.

Our analysis indicates that BDX is potentially undervalued!

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, 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$3.25b US$3.27b US$3.67b US$4.27b US$4.58b US$4.82b US$5.02b US$5.19b US$5.35b US$5.50b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x3 Analyst x3 Analyst x3 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 5.11% Est @ 4.17% Est @ 3.51% Est @ 3.05% Est @ 2.73%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.1% US$3.0k US$2.9k US$3.0k US$3.2k US$3.2k US$3.2k US$3.1k US$3.0k US$2.9k US$2.8k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$30b

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 7.1%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2032 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$5.5b× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (7.1%– 2.0%) = US$109b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$109b÷ ( 1 + 7.1%)10= US$55b

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$85b. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$249, the company appears about fair value at a 17% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Valuations are imprecise instruments though, rather like a telescope - move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Do keep this in mind.

dcf
NYSE:BDX Discounted Cash Flow December 1st 2022

The Assumptions

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. If you don't agree with these result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the 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 Becton Dickinson 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 7.1%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.002. 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.

Looking Ahead:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. 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 Becton Dickinson, we've put together three additional factors you should further research:

  1. Risks: We feel that you should assess the 1 warning sign for Becton Dickinson we've flagged before making an investment in the company.
  2. Future Earnings: How does BDX'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.

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

Find out whether Becton Dickinson is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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