Stock Analysis

Are STERIS plc (NYSE:STE) Investors Paying Above The Intrinsic Value?

NYSE:STE
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Key Insights

  • The projected fair value for STERIS is US$175 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity
  • STERIS is estimated to be 31% overvalued based on current share price of US$230
  • Analyst price target for STE is US$242, which is 38% above our fair value estimate

Does the September share price for STERIS plc (NYSE:STE) 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. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

See our latest analysis for STERIS

What's The Estimated Valuation?

We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second 'steady growth' period. 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 discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today's dollars:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033
Levered FCF ($, Millions) US$737.0m US$832.1m US$912.7m US$980.5m US$1.04b US$1.09b US$1.13b US$1.17b US$1.20b US$1.24b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x1 Est @ 12.91% Est @ 9.68% Est @ 7.42% Est @ 5.84% Est @ 4.73% Est @ 3.96% Est @ 3.42% Est @ 3.04% Est @ 2.77%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.8% US$684 US$716 US$729 US$726 US$713 US$693 US$668 US$641 US$613 US$584

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$6.8b

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 2.2%. We discount the terminal cash flows to today's value at a cost of equity of 7.8%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$1.2b× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (7.8%– 2.2%) = US$22b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$22b÷ ( 1 + 7.8%)10= US$11b

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$17b. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide this by the total number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$230, the company appears reasonably expensive at the time of writing. 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:STE Discounted Cash Flow September 18th 2023

The 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 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 7.8%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.956. 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.
Weakness
  • Earnings declined over the past year.
  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Medical Equipment market.
  • Expensive based on P/S ratio and estimated fair value.
Opportunity
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow faster than the American market.
Threat
  • Dividends are not covered by earnings.
  • Annual revenue is forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Next Steps:

Whilst important, the DCF calculation ideally won't be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. It's not possible to obtain a foolproof valuation with a DCF model. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or 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 lower than the current share price? For STERIS, we've compiled three important aspects you should explore:

  1. Risks: For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for STERIS that you should be aware of.
  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.