Stock Analysis

An Intrinsic Calculation For STERIS plc (NYSE:STE) Suggests It's 23% Undervalued

NYSE:STE
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Key Insights

  • STERIS' estimated fair value is US$276 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity
  • Current share price of US$213 suggests STERIS is potentially 23% undervalued
  • Our fair value estimate is 16% higher than STERIS' analyst price target of US$238

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of STERIS plc (NYSE:STE) by taking the expected future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. 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 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. For those who are keen learners of equity analysis, the Simply Wall St analysis model here may be something of interest to you.

See our latest analysis for STERIS

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. 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.

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

2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$684.0m US$797.1m US$1.10b US$1.33b US$1.54b US$1.71b US$1.86b US$1.99b US$2.09b US$2.19b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 21.00% Est @ 15.37% Est @ 11.42% Est @ 8.66% Est @ 6.73% Est @ 5.38% Est @ 4.43%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.0% US$633 US$683 US$873 US$978 US$1.0k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.0k US$1.0k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$9.5b

After calculating the present value of future cash flows in the initial 10-year period, we need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all future cash flows beyond 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 2.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 8.0%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$2.2b× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (8.0%– 2.2%) = US$38b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$38b÷ ( 1 + 8.0%)10= US$18b

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$27b. 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$213, the company appears a touch undervalued at a 23% 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:STE Discounted Cash Flow December 17th 2023

The 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. 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 STERIS 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 0.984. 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 STERIS

Strength
  • Debt is well covered by earnings and cashflows.
  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.
Weakness
  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Medical Equipment market.
Opportunity
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow for the next 3 years.
  • Trading below our estimate of fair value by more than 20%.
Threat
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Looking Ahead:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching 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. Why is the intrinsic value higher than the current share price? For STERIS, we've compiled three important aspects you should assess:

  1. Risks: Be aware that STERIS is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...
  2. Future Earnings: How does STE'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 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 STERIS 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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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.