CSL Limited and Cochlear Ltd. Case study report

Last Updated: 18 Jul 2020
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The purpose of this report is to guide the clients of G.S. Klyne, in making investment decisions. The clients are interested in the Australian Biotechnology sector and have asked us to do a comparative study between two companies. The two companies’ understudies are CSL Ltd and Cochlear Ltd. Both companies are listed on the Australian stock exchange. In order to accomplish the projects along the stated lines, a top-down approach is used. In this, we studied the present condition of the Australian economy and the sector in which the company is present. Further, we analyze the Balance Sheets and P/L Account of both the companies over the period and estimate future Balance sheet and profit and loss statement. For this detailed research about the company is done. Apart from the Percentage of Sales method, past ratios and assumptions are also used to forecast future financials. Trends analysis of all the items in the profit & loss statement and balance sheet is done to give us any indication of the future potential. These notes to accounts have been studied in detail to know the impact of these items in estimating the intrinsic value of the share. A lot of assumptions have been taken into consideration for doing the analysis.

After that risk analysis is done for both the companies. This helps us understand what necessary steps has the company taken to handle adverse scenarios and cases. For e.g.  Has the company kept sufficient reserves to handle a recessionary situation that occurred last year? Accounting analysis and adjustment of journal entries help us to find out the adjustments which the company has made. These adjustments have been thoroughly examined and deciphered so that it gives us a clear picture of what this entry actually leads too. Then Discounted Cash Flow valuation method is used to determine the free cash flow. Various variables like cost of equity, cost of debt, beta, etc are determined to calculate WACC. Finally, we find out the intrinsic value of the share. Based on the DCF valuation method used we found out the Intrinsic value of Cochlear Limited to be 71 AUD and for CSL to be 33.75. Both stocks are trading around their intrinsic values on 11th May 2010. Based on accounting analysis and ratios it was found that CSL’s ratio was better as compared to Cochlear. The company’s fundamentals are strong and are also financially well managed. Trend analysis also gives us a positive picture of the company. So we would suggest our clients invest in CSL Ltd.


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From an investor’s perspective, a company must generate returns that not only allow it to stay in business but also give its investors an adequate reward for their investment. Any long term and thoughtful investment decision should be preceded by a thorough study and research about the prospective company. So to find out the right investment option proper valuation of the company needs to be done which will lead to better returns.


Valuation is the estimation of an asset's value based either on variables perceived to be related to future investment returns or on comparisons with similar assets. Skill in valuation is one very important element of success in investing. The valuation of a business is not as simple as someone buying the business for an amount equal to its net worth. Business valuation usually takes into account the net worth reported in its balance sheet, but many other factors play a role in putting a value on a business.

Valuation process

We have seen that the valuation of a particular company is a task within the context of the portfolio management process. Each individual valuation that an analyst undertakes can be viewed as a process with the following five steps: Understanding the business: This involves evaluating industry prospects, competitive position, and corporate strategies. Analysts use this information together with financial statement analysis to forecast performance.  Forecasting company performance: Forecasts of sales, earnings, and financial position (pro forma analysis) are the immediate inputs to estimating value. Selecting the appropriate valuation model. Converting forecasts to a valuation.

Making an investment decision (recommendation).

Analysts may consider qualitative as well as quantitative factors in financial forecasting and valuation. For example, some analysts may modify their overall valuation judgments and recommendations based on qualitative factors. These may include the analyst's viewpoint on the business acumen and integrity of management as well as the transparency and quality of a company's accounting practices. Although analysts may attempt to reflect the expected direction of such considerations in their financial forecasts or to otherwise quantify such factors, no formal valuation expression can fully capture these factors.'' Equity analysts study financial results and disclosures for information bearing on the company's current and future ability to create economic value.

Investment analysts play a critical role in collecting, organizing, analyzing, and communicating corporate information, and in recommending appropriate investment actions based on sound analysis.

Some analysts use discounted cash flow models to value firms, while others use multiples such as the price-earnings and price-book value ratios. Since investors using this approach hold a large number of 'undervalued' stocks in their portfolios, their hope is that, on average, these portfolios will do better than the market. (Investopedia 2010)

Discounted cash flows

In a famous article Pearson Hunt came back from a visit to Ireland with Professor Finagle’s three laws of information:

1) The information we have is not what we want,

2) The information we want is not what we need,

3) The information we need is not available.

Professor Hunt discusses Finagle’s laws in the context of what investment analysts want from a firm’s financial statements. What they have are the financial statements with “accounting earnings” the bottom line. However, what analysts need for their valuations are not accounting earnings, but cash flow, the actual cash generated from the firm’s operations.

Discounted cash flow tries to work out the value of a company today, based on Projections of how much money it's going to make in the future. In discounted cash flows valuation, the value of an asset is the present value of the expected cash flows on the asset, discounted back at a rate that reflects the riskiness of these cash flows. Target prices (from which recommendations are derived) are based on the sum of the present value of future earnings based on a discount rate incorporating an equity risk premium. This approach comes with the best theoretical credentials.

There are several tried and true approaches to discounted cash flow analysis, including the dividend discount model (DDM) approach and the cash flow to a firm approach. We will use the free cash flow to equity approach to determine the "fair value" of companies.

Steps in DCF valuation

  • Determine Free Cashflow

Free cash flow is the cash flow available to all investors in the company – both shareholders and bondholders after consideration for taxes, capital expenditure, and working capital investment.

Free cash flow = NOPAT + Depreciation - Capital Expenditure – (+) Increases

(Decreases) in Working Capital Investment

Where NOPAT = Net Operating Profit after tax = Earnings before Interest But    after Taxes = EBIT (1- Tax rate)

 EBIT = Revenue - the cost of goods sold - operating expenses – depreciation

  • Estimate a suitable discount rate for the project

The discount rate should reflect the capital structure of the project. To calculate the discount rate:

  •  Find out the cost of equity

Cost of Equity (Re) = Rf + Beta (Rm-Rf).


Rf – Risk-Free Rate (This is the amount obtained from investing in securities considered free from credit risk, such as government bonds)

Beta - Co-variance (SENSEX return, Stock return)/ Variance (SENSEX return)

This measures how much a company's share price moves against the market as a whole

Rm - The returns investors expect, over and above the risk-free rate.

  • Cost of Debt

The cost of debt (Rd) should be the current market rate the company is paying on its debt.

  • WACC

WACC is the weighted average of costs of debt and equity, the weights being a target, market value debt-to-value and equity-to-value ratios respectively

WACC= Re x E/V + Rd x (1 - corporate tax rate) x D/V.

Where V- Value of firm      E- Equity value         D-Debt value

  • Calculate the present value of cash flows

Discount the free cash flows using the WACC calculated to get the present value of cash flows.

  •  Estimate the terminal Value

The terminal value is the present value of cash flows occurring after the forecast period. If we assume that cash flows grow at a constant rate after the forecast period, the terminal value

T.V = [CFt (1+g)] / kg

Where CFt  = cash flow in the last year

            g = constant growth rate

            k = discount rate

·         Add the present value of terminal value

Value of the firm = Present value of future cash flows + Present value of Terminal value

So DCF gives us the Intrinsic Value (real value) of the stock and helps investors in deciding about their investments. (Palepu, Healy, Bernard 2004)

Cochlear limited

Cochlear Limited (Cochlear) operates in the implantable hearing device industry. Its products include a cochlear implant system, Baha system, freedom accessories, speech processor upgrades, and nucleus freedom implant. Nucleus Freedom is the next generation of Cochlear's technology, including SmartSound 2, which brings clarity to everyday hearing. Its bone conduction implant, the Baha system, helps people with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, as well as Single Sided Deafness (SSD). The Company has also introduced Nucleus Freedom speech processor technology to all of its Nucleus implant recipients. Cochlear's Nucleus Freedom implant with Contour Advance electrode and Nucleus Freedom implant with Straight electrode features an electronics platform with a microchip. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009, Cochlear acquired Percutis AB, a Swedish company. ( Cochlear official website (2010))


DCF methodology was used to calculate the intrinsic value of the company’s share. Initially, trends were studied of the net operating profit after tax, and then forecasting was done by taking the average of the trends. Then free cash flow to the firm was calculated using the above-explained DCF methodology. (Reuters 2010)


  • The trend of operating profit has been found out and then the average of it has been taken to forecast future operating profits. In this case, we have found out the average to be 15%.
  • An increase in capital expenditure has been taken to be 500,000 AUD per year. Even this has been the trend of the last four years.
  •  The market premium has been taken to be 5.8% which is the average of the last 100 years.
  • Long term growth has been assumed to be 3.5%. This has been found out taking into consideration the life cycle in which the company is currently present and the sector outlook for the future.

The table below shows the weighted average cost of capital calculations. Risk-free return is got from the yield on 10-year bonds issued by the Australian government. Beta is taken from the Reuters database and market premium is found out by taking average returns for the past years. The cost of debt has been calculated from the interest charges paid by the company divided by the total debt.

COH: WACC Calculation


Particulars %
Risk-Free Return (Rf) 5.4
Market Premium (Rm) 5.8
Calculated Beta 0.64
Cost of Equity (Re) 6.936
Cost of Debt (Pre-tax) % 9
Debt /Equity 0.5178
WACC 1.053

CSL : DCF Calculation


Particulars Rs. Cr
The present value of the explicit phase 630240.8
Terminal value 15599168
Terminal growth rate 3.50%


The present value of the terminal value 13361580
(A+B) Total present value 189036.3
Net debt 7244965
Equity Value 6746856
Shares(cr) 95000
Implied DCF value per share (Rs) 71.01954

We arrive at an intrinsic value of 71 AUD. Currently, the stock is trading around 72 AUD which suggests that the markets reflect the correct value of the stock. Data from the income statements and balance sheets were used to arrive at this value.


Income Statement Revenue Cost of sales Gross profit Other income Selling and general expenses Administration expenses Research and development expenses Results from operating activities Net finance income/(expense) Profit before income tax Income tax expense NET PROFIT
2009 $000's 694,699 -196,244 498,455 3,081 -185,23 -44,979 -96,682 174,645 1,623 176,268 -45,728 130,54
2008 $000's 601,725 -169,013 432,712 2,51 -156,487 -36,092 -80,017 162,626 -5,909 156,717 -41,483 115,234
2007 $000's 559,412 -161,334 398,078 1,133 -141,046 -38,635 -65,949 153,581 -10,1 143,481 -45,805 97,676
2006 $000's 452,26 -130,962 321,298 884 -124,808 -29,951 -58,926 108,497 338 108,835 -30,61 78,225



Balance Sheet Cash and cash equivalents Trade and other receivables Inventories Current tax receivables Prepayments Total current assets Trade and other receivables Other financial assets Property, plant, and equipment Intangible assets
2009 $000's 80,016 173,256 105,944 3,898 8,205 371,319 31,086 0 46,794 208,275
2008 $000's 36,687 173,266 99,169 4,157 8,817 322,096 15,963 0 43,219 208,959
2007 $000's 83,382 143,076 91,89 0 5,39 323,738 6,178 477 40,565 196,268
2006 $000's 87,073 109,388 76,822 0 5,92 279,203 0 383 30,833 205,238


Deferred tax assets Total non-current assets TOTAL ASSETS Trade and other payables Loans and borrowings Current tax liabilities Provisions Deferred revenue Total current liabilities Trade and other payables Loans and borrowings
2009 21,899 308,054 679,373 64,881 0 5,362 32,222 14,678 117,143 56 188,583
2008 17,679 285,82 607,916 60,83 15,438 2,803 31,516 14,358 124,945 0 154,545
2007 18,511 261,999 585,737 61,923 161,337 7,997 30,953 17,338 279,548 0 37,552
2006 30,267 266,721 545,924 57,345 70,547 24,981 27,058 23,525 203,456 0 125,493


 The following are the analysis based on the ratios
  • There has been no increase in the Gross profit margin. This might mean that either the sales have not increased or costs have increased. The company needs to seriously work on it and find out the reason for it. If its due to a higher cost then it has to reduce its operating cost and if its due to reduced sales then increases the marketing budget.
  •  There has been a reduction in the net profit margin. This is not a good sign for the company. It might be due to stagnant sales or improper tax planning.
  • Current Ratio has increased steadily. This leads to an increase in current assets. In the short term, the company is good at handling its operations. This internally affects the net working capital required by the company. This affects the valuation calculation.
  •  Average receivables haven’t changed significantly. This means that the company is getting the cash from the customers at the same rate as it was used to getting earlier. This leads to poor cash management. Due to this, the company might be required to take additional loans from outside parties leading to the increased cost of capital.
  •    Inventory turnover had reduced and now it has reached back to the condition what it was 4 years before. The company needs to work on it because higher inventory turnover will mean the goods are moving at a faster rate. The company needs to work on its demand forecasting methods so that only optimum inventory can be kept and this will lead to lower inventory carrying costs.
  •  The debt to equity ratio is at an optimum level. This means the company is looking for expansion. This is a good sign as the money will get invested in projects and they might generate higher returns leading to better profitability.


So with the help of financial analysis and valuation approach, we come to the conclusion that it will be good for the clients to invest in CSL ltd. The company has better financials based on accounting analysis and ratio analysis. It is currently trading at par with the intrinsic value. If the macroeconomic environment changes it will boost the company’s performance and will generate good returns for the investors.


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  2. Chanda, P. (2008). Risk and Return. Financial Management, Tata McGraw Hill
  3. Cochlear official website (2010), About us (http://www.cochlear.com/) [accessed 11th May 2010]
  4.  CSL Limited official website (2010), About us (http://www.csl.com.au/) [accessed 11th May 2010]
  5. Ninemsn (2010), News and analysis-bond prices (http://money.ninemsn.com.au/news-and-analysis/bond-prices.aspx) [accessed 11th May 2010]
  6. Finfacts Ireland (2010), Australian market returns (http://www.finfacts.ie/Private/curency/historicalstocksreturnsperformance.htm) [accessed 11th May 2010]
  7.  Investopedia (2010), Fundamental Analysis (http://www.investopedia.com) [accessed 11th May 2010]
  8. Reuters Money (2010), Company Profile, (http://in.reuters.com/money/quotes/companyProfile?symbol=CSL.AX), [accessed 12th May 2010]
  9.  Reuters Finance(2010), Company Profile, (http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyProfile?symbol=CSL.AX), [accessed 12th May 2010]
  10.  Reuters Money (2010), Company Profile, (http://in.reuters.com/money/quotes/companyProfile?symbol=COH.AX), [accessed 12th May 2010]
  11. Reuters Finance(2010), Company Profile, (http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyProfile?symbol=COH.AX), [accessed 12th May 2010].

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CSL Limited and Cochlear Ltd. Case study report. (2018, Mar 15). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/csl-limited-and-cochlear-ltd-case-study-report/

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