Estimating The Intrinsic Value Of Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX)

Simply Wall St
·6-min read

Does the October share price for Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will estimate the stock's intrinsic value by taking the forecast future cash flows of the company and discounting them back to today's value. This will be done using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. There's really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

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. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Boston Scientific

The model

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.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, 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

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$1.91b

US$2.42b

US$2.67b

US$2.96b

US$3.18b

US$3.36b

US$3.52b

US$3.66b

US$3.78b

US$3.90b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x4

Analyst x4

Analyst x2

Analyst x1

Est @ 7.29%

Est @ 5.77%

Est @ 4.7%

Est @ 3.96%

Est @ 3.44%

Est @ 3.07%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 7.9%

US$1.8k

US$2.1k

US$2.1k

US$2.2k

US$2.2k

US$2.1k

US$2.1k

US$2.0k

US$1.9k

US$1.8k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$20b

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 7.9%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$3.9b× (1 + 2.2%) ÷ (7.9%– 2.2%) = US$70b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$70b÷ ( 1 + 7.9%)10= US$33b

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$53b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Relative to the current share price of US$34.1, the company appears about fair value at a 7.7% 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
dcf

Important 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 Boston Scientific 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 7.9%, 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.

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. 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 Boston Scientific, we've compiled three important items you should consider:

  1. Risks: Every company has them, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for Boston Scientific (of which 1 is significant!) you should know about.

  2. Future Earnings: How does BSX'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.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.

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