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Financial Analysis of Ladbrokes - Free Essay Example

Sample details Pages: 9 Words: 2563 Downloads: 4 Date added: 2017/06/26 Category Finance Essay Type Argumentative essay Level High school Did you like this example? Title: Financial Analysis of Ladbrokes 1) Ladbrokes is the worldà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s leading fixed odds betting company. The company was established as a partnership in 1886[1]. The business listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1967. The company also diversified into hotel business by opening hotels and purchasing Hilton International Hotels in 1987. In 2006, Hilton International was sold to Hilton Group and now Ladbrokes plc focuses on betting business only. Ladbrokes reaches its customers through the following four core routes: 2,500 betting shops spread over UK, Ireland, Jersey and Belgium[2]; Website and telephone betting for European players; Casino à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Recent entrant; and Vernons Pools à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Football pool operator The business faces numerous competitors in different segments. They are few large operators of betting shops but Ladbrokes group is a well established leader. The most volatile business segment is the internet betting which was impacted by the change in US laws which made internet betting illegal and this action might be followed by other European countries. Football pool business is declining in its share and chances of its revival are less. The company faces following main risks: Don’t waste time! Our writers will create an original "Financial Analysis of Ladbrokes" essay for you Create order Internet betting. US has already made internet betting illegal. It is expected that some of the European countries are also thinking of making it illegal because ità ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s a loss to their tax revenues. Foreign exchange. As Ladbrokes plc has customers across Europe, strengthening of Pound against Euro will lower its revenues and profits in Pounds. Interest rate. Increase in interest rate will reduce profits in terms of higher interest payments and increase in expenses linked to retail price inflation like employees salaries. High losses in some championship due to adverse winning by clients. The latest full year accounts are available for the year ended 31 December 2005. Appendix I shows the summary financials. The profit and loss results compare the change in financials over the year from continued business only to give a better idea about future prospects and valuation. The revenue from continued operations increased by 13.6 % to  £11,505 million. EBITDA is low because winnings are distributed from revenues only. Profit after tax increased 2.5 % to  £196 million. The total number of outstanding ordinary shares is 628.13 million[3]. Ladbrokes share price is 452.25 pence[4] giving it a market value of  £2.84 billion. Ladbrokes share price has moved upwards significantly in the last four months on back of grant of new licences to open betting shops across Europe and good trading for the ten months ended 31 Oct 2006. Profits from the continuing operations increased by 5 % in the ten months period ended 31 Oct 2006[5]. With a 5 % increase in pro fits, the expected annual profits would be around  £210 million from the continuing operations. Market capitalisation of  £2.8 billion will result in price to earning ratio of 14. 2) Appendix II shows the different sources of finance for the year ended 31 December 2005. 52.3 % of assets are financed by liabilities and remaining by shareholders funds. Only 10.8 % of assets are financed by the current liabilities indicating more reliance on long-term liabilities. Ladbrokes had borrowings of  £1,285 million with most of that in non-current liabilities. But the company had  £926 million of cash and cash equivalent in terms of short-term investments. The net debt of Ladbrokes was only  £359 million. Gearing ratio = Net debt / (Net debt + Shareholders funds) = 359 / (359 + 2595) = 12.2 % Ladbrokes financial gearing is very less and with assets in terms of betting shops, there is not significant fear of bankruptcy. The current financi al gearing ratio would be different because of sale of hotel business which constituted a significant part of the assets. Appendix III shows the 5-year dividend history of Ladbrokes. Though there was no change in earning per share, the dividend was increased by 8 % in the year ended 31 December 2005. Even though the earnings per share dropped in years 2003 and 2002, dividend was maintained. Most of the managements donà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t cut dividend immediately because it can give strong negative signals about future expectations. Even tough earnings increased rapidly in 2004, the dividend wasnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t increased by the same because of two likely reasons. First, previous dividend to earnings ratio was more than 1 and by keeping dividend growth low management had a chance to bring it below 1. Second, it may not be possible to grow earnings so fast in future and hence a smaller growth in dividend in future may again lead to negative share price reaction. Cost of capita l The effective interest rates for current and non-current borrowings were 1.07% and 5.80% respectively[6]. Weighted average cost of debt, Rd = 4.59%. Cost of equity capital = Re = Rf + Be*(Rm à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Rf) Risk-free rate, Rf = 4.88 %[7] (10-year yield on UK gilt) Expected market return, Rm = 12.5 % Beta = Be = 0.99, as calculated in question 4 Re = 4.88% + 0.99*(12.5% 4.88%) = 12.42% Cost of capital = R = Rd*(1-T)*D/(D+E) + Re*E/(D+E) Where E = Shareholders funds =  £2,595.2 million D = Debt =  £1,285.6 million T = Tax rate = 30% Cost of capital, R = 9.37% Appendix IV shows the working capital analysis. Current liabilities are more than covered by current assets. Also there is no change in quick ratio in the year ended 31 December 2005 because of no inventories in the betting business. Ladbrokes has nil debtor days in 2005 due to the nature of the business. Trade creditors are also very low. 3) Main type of mar ket efficiencies are as follows: Strong form of efficiency. Share prices reflect all information and so no excess returns can be generated. Semi-strong form efficiency. Share prices adjust quickly to publicly available new information. Weak-form efficiency. No excess returns can be earned by using investment strategies that are based on past movement in share prices. It however allows for excess gains based on the fundamental analysis. Stock Market Efficiency is important for listed firms where managers are different from owners. An efficient stock market means that the information is available to all concerned parties in timely manner so that no single party can make undue gains from it. This gives confidence to shareholders that they will not be taken for a ride by the management. To test SME, we find abnormal price movements and then check if any important announcement was made by the company on that day. Abnormal share price movements were the difference between the daily return on the share price and the expected daily normal return. Expected normal return is calculated by using beta of the share. If no news was announced on that day or after the close of previous day, then abnormal share price movement doesnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t reflect SME. An index with all companies in the market is very cumbersome to maintain. An index covering a broad range of companies representing various business sectors would g ive a good indication of the market movement. We have used FTSE 100 index as the benchmark index as all major companies are represented in it. Abnormal return = Share return à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Beta * FTSE return The top five absolute abnormal returns based on the above formula were observed on the following dates: 12 Jan 2007 à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Abnormal excess returns of 2.31% 20 Dec 2006 à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Abnormal excess returns of 2.39% 16 Nov 2006 Abnormal excess returns of -4.98% 24 Aug 2006 Abnormal excess returns of -3.63% 16 Jun 2006 Abnormal excess returns of -3.05% We looked at the à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹Å"Financial Timesà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ and à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹Å"Investegateà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ website for the articles. Financial Times website gives company news along with its analysis of the announcements. Investegate website gives all the regulatory announcements. 12 Jan 2007 No special announcement in Investegate website. Rumour of private equity interest in Ladbroke on Financial Times[8]. This shows that some people had more news than others and hence absence of market efficiency. 20 Dec 2006 No news on either Investegate or Financial Times and hence absence of market efficiency. 16 Nov 2006 Release of trading statement on 16 Nov 2006 showing 5 % growth in profits[9]. As markets move after new information and price incorporate news within the day, presence of semi-strong form of efficiency. 24 Aug 2006 Interim results for six months showing growth in profits by 12.3%[10]. Price incorporated most of the news on the same day; presenc e of semi-strong form of efficiency. 16 Jun 2006 No news released and hence excess returns do not support stock market efficiency. The above excess share price returns in Ladbrokes show that the market is a weak-form of efficiency in case of Ladbrokes. 4) Market risk, also known as the systematic risk, is the residual risk in the market that canà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t be associated with any specific company. Market risk arises from the macro economic factors like GDP, change in inflation and movement in interest rates and affects all companies. Since market risk is the residual risk, it canà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t be diversified by forming a portfolio of companies. Beta of a company is the measure of movement of its share price against the market movement. The movements of share price and market are captured by the returns in share prices and market index. For this study, we have assumed FTSE 100 index to represent the market as a whole. Academics suggest use of five yea r data for calculating beta of a company. But in case of Ladbrokes, such share movements are not available because it sold a large part of its business in early 2006 and it changed dramatically the risk profile of the company. Hence it would be incorrect to use the five year period in calculating beta. Post demerger of its hotel business, Ladbrokes plc shares were listed on 18 April 2006. We have used the month end share price and FTSE 100 index returns for calculating beta. The monthly returns of Ladbrokes share price are calculated by comparing the share price with the share price at the end of previous month. Same process is repeated for FTSE 100 index (see Appendix V). A graph is plotted with Ladbrokesà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ share price returns are plotted on the Y-axis and FTSE 100 index returns are plotted on the X-axis. Linear regression is used to plot the least square line and the slope of the line gives beta. The slope of the line plotted using least square method gives beta . Regression analysis of share returns on index returns is also shown in Appendix V. Beta value = 0.98 The beta of 0.98 means that the share price of Ladbrokes changes in a very similar manner to the changes in the FTSE 100 index. Adjusted R square of 0.28 indicates that 28 % of the share price movement is because of market movement. The adjusted R square value is low because of two abnormal readings in the month of July 2006 and Jan 2007. Also since the period of analysis contains only 9 readings, the abnormal readings of July 2006 and Jan 2007 had a major impact on adjusted R square value. We also look at the ratio of monthly returns of Ladbrokesà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s share price to the monthly returns of the FTSE 100 index. The beta is taken as the ratio of the monthly share returns to monthly index returns. Then we take the average of monthly betas to find out the beta for the period. Appendix VI shows the values of betas from May 2006 to January 2007. Beta value = -1.0 1 The value of beta from the above method is totally opposite to the value obtained using regression. This is because of two abnormal reading in July 2006 and January 2007. If we take out January 2007 reading from the above group and take the average from May 2006 to December 2007, beta is 1.01. This value is comparable to the value obtained in the regression analysis. We take average of the above two values à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" 0.98 and 1.01 as the beta, 0.99, of Ladbrokes. 5) Portfolio effects There are two types of risks associated with every share. First is the systematic risk which is form the macro factors affecting any economy like GDP and movement in interest rates. All shares are affected by changes in above factors. Second is the specific risk which corresponds to the factors affecting only that particular share like change in competition, change in regulatory laws affecting the sector in which the company operates. Because all companies face systematic risk, it canà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t be diversified. But different shares can face different movement in their share prices at certain time due to various specific risks. Portfolio effect tries to capture the correlation between different share prices. It may happen that some shares have negative correlation to the market and hence may balance the high volatility in earnings. A portfolio formed out of different asset classes or shares may reduce the volatility in price changes and increase the reward to risk ratio. 6) We now once again at the stock market efficiency. Since the idea of stock market efficiency was floated, many researches have been done. Academics have also pointed out to seasonal anomalies like January effect to counter market efficiency. Also studies show that stock returns are not only related to market returns but also to other factors like size of the firm, book value to market value ratio. The spread of ways to convey news to investors and rapid decrease in time taken to spread news has reduced the reaction time of market and made it more efficient. But still it is difficult to say that markets are strongly efficient. Even though laws to prevent insider trading have been enacted, still share prices show abnormal returns before important public announcements especially around mergers and acquisitions. Market inefficiencies are more prominent at individual company level than at the whole market level. 7) Ladbrokes is the leading fixed odds betting company with presence in both shops and online betting sector. Online betting faces uncertain future due to changes in laws in US and expected changes in some European countries too. Ladbrokes is well placed to take into account banning of internet by taking more business through its shops. Company is focused on betting now after selling its hotel business and has capacity to take on more debt for future expansion across Europe. Ladbrokes profits are growing and with a current price to earn ing ratio of 14, the share price looks decent value for a company looking to expand. Ladbrokes also have high amount of cash and cash equivalent following sale of hotel business which it can use for expansion. This along with more debt will allow Ladbrokes to expand without raising equity; a prospect for shareholders. BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REFERENCES Ladbrokes, Annual Report and Accounts 2005, Date 18 Feb 2007 Appendix I à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Summary Financials Profit and Loss statement Balance Sheet Cash flow (Source: Ladbrokes, Annual Report and Accounts 2005) Appendix II à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Sources of finance (Source: Ladbrokes, Annual Report and Accounts 2005) Appendix III à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Dividend history (Source: Ladbrokes, Annual Report and Accounts 2005) Appendix IV à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Working capital analysis (Source: Ladbrokes, Annual Rep ort and Accounts 2005) Appendix V à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Beta calculations (Source: Ladbrokes share price FTSE 100 index Graph of Ladbrokesà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ monthly returns and FTSE 100 monthly returns Regression Analysis Appendix VI à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Second way of calculating beta (Source: Ladbrokes plc share price FTSE 100 index [1], Date 18 Feb 2007 [2], Date 18 Feb 2007 [3], Date 18 Feb 2007 [4], Date 18 Feb 2007 [5], Date 18 Feb 2007 [6] Ladbrokes plc, Annual Report and Accounts 2005, Page 62. [7] [8] [9] [10]

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