Cardinal Well being Inventory: long-term funding at 10.0x ahead PER

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Cardinal Well being (NYSE: CAH) has had a troublesome few years as a result of opioid scandal, however continues to seem like a really engaging long-term funding, at simply 10.0x ahead C/E. The corporate fell exhausting final week when administration reduce its steerage amid new expectations about provide chain points. However this engaging ahead P/E of 10.0x takes this replace under consideration and is predicated on the brand new directional midpoint of $5.33 EPS. This text will assessment Cardinal Well being’s engaging money circulate and in addition give traders an estimate of the corporate’s present $71.72 valuation, which sits round a 28% margin of security.

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Newest outcomes are affected by provide chain points

In Cardinal Well being’s newest fiscal yr Q1 2021 quarter, income elevated 13% to $44.0 billion from the prior yr interval. Non-GAAP working revenue fell 15% to $527 million, primarily attributable to decrease revenue within the medical sector which was pushed by provide chain points. Non-GAAP diluted EPS decreased 15% to $1.29. GAAP working revenue was $415 million and GAAP diluted EPS was $0.94.

Within the quarterly launch, the corporate reaffirmed its fiscal 2022 steerage vary for non-GAAP diluted EPS attributable to Cardinal Well being of $5.60 to $5.90. This replace displays excessive incremental provide chain internet prices of roughly $100-125 million. As talked about earlier, this ahead estimate has now been up to date for an increment of $150 to $175 million ($0.40 to $0.45 impression on EPS). That leaves 2022 EPS estimates at $5.20-$5.45.

Over the last quarter, the board of administrators additionally permitted a 3-year share buyback plan of as much as $3 billion. At Cardinal Well being’s $14.7 billion valuation, this buyout plan, if absolutely executed, would symbolize 20.4% of the corporate’s inventory. As we’ll discover subsequent, the corporate seeks to have free money circulate to assist such buybacks.

Nice money circulate technology

To get an thought of ​​the sustainability of dividends and share buybacks, one can check out what share money circulate from operations is out there for return to shareholders after making the required capital expenditures. As seen under, Cardinal Well being does an incredible job returning money circulate to shareholders via dividends and inventory buybacks.

Cardinal Health Cash Flow Analysis

Morningstar supply knowledge

With capital expenditures and with acquisitions having absorbed on common solely 20% of working money circulate over the previous decade, about 80% stays to be returned to traders within the type of dividends and share buybacks. With a mean working money circulate of $2,096 million over the previous 5 years, that 63% would indicate free money circulate to shareholders of $1,677 million for a free money circulate yield of roughly 11.2% on the present market capitalization of $15.0 billion.

Notably absent from the chart above is Cardinal Well being’s 2018 acquisition of Medtronic affected person care, deep vein thrombosis and dietary insufficiency companies for $6.1 billion in money. This vital however one-time acquisition isn’t an integral a part of Cardinal Well being’s capital allocation technique. It was funded with $4.5 billion of latest senior notes along with money. This debt is already being repaid rapidly along with common share buybacks, as mentioned under.

Debt compensation and share buyback

Cardinal Well being has robust free money circulate which is getting used to create shareholder worth via not solely the present dividend of three.76%, but additionally the numerous compensation of debt and share buybacks. Since 2017, the corporate has lowered its interest-bearing debt by 46.5%, from $10.4 billion to $5.7 billion for a mean compensation charge of $1.1 billion per yr (13, 3%). Throughout the identical interval, the corporate repurchased 8.4% of its excellent shares for a mean repurchase charge of $0.5 billion (2.1%) per yr.

Cardinal Health - Debts and Shares

Morningstar supply knowledge

Get a way of analysis

To get a extra in-depth estimate of the valuation and potential returns Cardinal Well being may provide at present costs, I’ll use the previous 5-year common free money circulate for debt and fairness traders in an up to date valuation of money circulate. As will be seen within the chart under, potential returns look engaging, with the inventory at the moment buying and selling round a 23% margin of security for an estimated intrinsic worth of $66.86. Notably, this valuation subtracts the discounted legal responsibility of $3.5 billion for the opioid settlement cost (which has already been expensed however not paid in money) over an estimated remaining time period of 10 years.

Cardinal Health Discounted Cash Flows

Authors’ calculations utilizing Morningstar knowledge

For readers curious in regards to the inputs of this discounted zero development money circulate evaluationlisted below are some extra particulars about my thought course of. For a reduction charge, I conservatively used a gross low cost charge of 9% with a development charge of two% given Cardinal’s scale, enterprise moat and income development Well being to reach at a internet low cost charge of seven%. From the calculation of the current worth of free money circulate for your entire firm, I added half of the money and equivalents from the final quarter’s steadiness sheet to symbolize the surplus money that isn’t not essential to run the enterprise and which can seemingly be slowly returned to shareholders via further share buybacks and dividends. I then subtracted final quarter’s debt attributable to bond traders, capital leases, worker pensions, debt and notable opioid-related settlements to get the web worth attributable to shareholders. This internet price attributable to shareholders is then divided by the variety of shares excellent for the final quarter to reach at a determine per share.


Cardinal Well being’s scale, as evidenced by its $167 billion in income during the last twelve months, and its place within the healthcare trade make the corporate vital to society, but additionally uncovered to new pressures. insurance policies, as evidenced by the latest opioid rules. Such vital dangers are unexpected however may simply reoccur.

Moreover, Cardinal Well being is a low-margin enterprise with internet margins between 0.19% and 1.28% (excluding adverse internet margin of -2.42% within the yr the opioid settlement was spent). These low margins go away the corporate very operationally exploited COGS and working expense pressures. These are the problems that at the moment have an effect on the present internet revenue and ahead estimates and also will fluctuate over the approaching years.

To take with

Cardinal Well being is a extremely worthwhile enterprise with robust money circulate at the moment buying and selling at 10.0x ahead EPS estimates, which already components in vital provide chain points. The corporate is a superb generator of money circulate and has finished a very good job of returning that money to shareholders via debt repayments, share buybacks averaging 2.1% per yr and present yield dividend of three.76%.

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