STERIS plc's (NYSE:STE) Intrinsic Value Is Potentially 31% Above Its Share Price

STERIS Plc +0.41%

STERIS Plc

STE

225.84

+0.41%

Key Insights

  • STERIS' estimated fair value is US$295 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity
  • STERIS is estimated to be 24% undervalued based on current share price of US$225
  • Our fair value estimate is 23% higher than STERIS' analyst price target of US$240

Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of STERIS plc (NYSE:STE) as an investment opportunity by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model is the tool we will apply to do this. Believe it or not, it's not too difficult to follow, as you'll see from our example!

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.

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. 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 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$684.0m US$797.1m US$1.10b US$1.33b US$1.54b US$1.71b US$1.86b US$1.99b US$2.10b US$2.19b
Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 20.96% Est @ 15.36% Est @ 11.44% Est @ 8.69% Est @ 6.77% Est @ 5.43% Est @ 4.49%
Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.7% US$635 US$687 US$880 US$989 US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.1k US$1.0k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$9.7b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of a country's GDP growth. In this case we have used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (2.3%) to estimate future growth. In the same way as with the 10-year 'growth' period, we discount future cash flows to today's value, using a cost of equity of 7.7%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2033 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$2.2b× (1 + 2.3%) ÷ (7.7%– 2.3%) = US$41b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$41b÷ ( 1 + 7.7%)10= US$20b

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is US$29b. 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$225, 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
NYSE:STE Discounted Cash Flow March 29th 2024

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. Part of investing is coming up with your own evaluation of a company's future performance, so try the calculation yourself and check your own 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 7.7%, which is based on a levered beta of 0.994. 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 faster than the American market.
  • Trading below our estimate of fair value by more than 20%.
Threat
  • Annual revenue is forecast to grow slower than the American market.

Next Steps:

Although the valuation of a company is important, it shouldn't be the only metric you look at when researching 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?" For example, changes in the company's cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. What is the reason for the share price sitting below the intrinsic value? For STERIS, we've put together three important factors you should look at:

  1. Risks: You should be aware of the 1 warning sign for STERIS we've uncovered before considering an investment in the company.
  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.

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