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AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) Shares Could Be 46% Below Their Intrinsic Value Estimate

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·6 min read
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Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) by estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. We will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model on this occasion. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

Companies can be valued in a lot of ways, so we would point out that a DCF is not perfect for every situation. Anyone interested in learning a bit more about intrinsic value should have a read of the Simply Wall St analysis model.

See our latest analysis for AbbVie

Step by step through the calculation

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, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today's value:

10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

Levered FCF ($, Millions)

US$23.3b

US$25.3b

US$23.2b

US$22.5b

US$24.9b

US$24.9b

US$25.0b

US$25.3b

US$25.7b

US$26.1b

Growth Rate Estimate Source

Analyst x6

Analyst x7

Analyst x6

Analyst x4

Analyst x3

Est @ 0.05%

Est @ 0.65%

Est @ 1.07%

Est @ 1.36%

Est @ 1.56%

Present Value ($, Millions) Discounted @ 8.4%

US$21.5k

US$21.5k

US$18.2k

US$16.3k

US$16.6k

US$15.4k

US$14.3k

US$13.3k

US$12.4k

US$11.6k

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = US$161b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. 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 8.4%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2030 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = US$26b× (1 + 2.0%) ÷ (8.4%– 2.0%) = US$419b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= US$419b÷ ( 1 + 8.4%)10= US$187b

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$349b. 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$106, the company appears quite undervalued at a 46% discount to where the stock price trades currently. The assumptions in any calculation have a big impact on the valuation, so it is better to view this as a rough estimate, not precise down to the last cent.

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 AbbVie 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 8.4%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.213. 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. 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. Can we work out why the company is trading at a discount to intrinsic value? For AbbVie, there are three fundamental items you should further research:

  1. Risks: Take risks, for example - AbbVie has 5 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

  2. Future Earnings: How does ABBV'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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.