Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Empiric Student Property LSE:ESP London Ordinary Share GB00BLWDVR75 ORD GBP0.01
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  -0.70p -0.79% 88.30p 88.20p 88.30p 89.30p 88.00p 88.40p 819,477 16:29:49
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Real Estate Investment & Services 21.6 28.1 7.3 12.1 532.35

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Empiric Student Property (ESP) Discussions and Chat

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Date Time Title Posts
26/4/201207:16Economics, Sentiment & Price2,939
11/9/200814:35Trading from Spain11
12/7/200214:55What is happening?20

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Empiric Student Property (ESP) Most Recent Trades

Trade Time Trade Price Trade Size Trade Value Trade Type
2018-01-17 16:52:2788.71448397.43O
2018-01-17 16:35:1488.30105,47493,133.54UT
2018-01-17 16:29:5688.3010592.72AT
2018-01-17 16:29:5188.309987.42AT
2018-01-17 16:29:5188.308575.06AT
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Empiric Student Property (ESP) Top Chat Posts

Empiric Student Property Daily Update: Empiric Student Property is listed in the Real Estate Investment & Services sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker ESP. The last closing price for Empiric Student Property was 89p.
Empiric Student Property has a 4 week average price of 87.50p and a 12 week average price of 82.50p.
The 1 year high share price is 116p while the 1 year low share price is currently 82.50p.
There are currently 602,887,740 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 1,334,900 shares. The market capitalisation of Empiric Student Property is £532,349,874.42.
stemis: I think (and hope) ESP are doing what they should be; sticking to the plan and sorting out the cost base and deploying their capital. If they do that successfully the share price will look after itself...
jombaston: I've put this back on the watchlist after today's announcement. This has prompted me to go through the latest results (6mths to Sep) and the problem is quite clear when you look through the accounts and particularly the cost ratios. I calculate the 'true yield' of this REIT (using the 6 months data annualised) as 0.5%! Virtually all the rent collected was being spent in operating, admin and finance costs. Of course, you can also see this in the unadj EPRA earnings and cash flow numbers. Subsequent statements acknowledge the need to improve operating margins and reduce admin costs. Looking at the numbers I would say they need to reduce them by at least a third if not more. The targets on admin costs target this sort of saving. For operating expenses they have a target of reducing them by a quarter over time (from 40% to 30% or expressed as an operating margin from 60% to 70% margin). But this will take time - if they can manage 65% next financial year it would be a good start. However, they are not at the point where a divi of 5% of NAV or even 5p in the pound is sustainable. My point is if they want to position this as a REIT that pays a sustainable (and possibly growing) dividend they need to do something more radical than has been proposed. Clearly there is good asset backing but are some of the assets more profitable than others? Do some cost more to run? Should they be expanding so rapidly? How about selling some assets and focusing on the most profitable and cutting the div to 4p? After all, it would still be a decent yield at the current share price. Or maybe they could sustain the current divi by selling some properties and making clear that this represented part of the distribution until the divi could be properly covered. It is tempting to buy a few shares but I think it is still speculative so will wait for some pointers from the new management first.
jonwig: Well, I did my bit for the share price: 4,000 @ 83.373 though it shows as a 'sell'. DAVE - I think I agree. Perhaps he was the alpha chimp, and they're looking to recruit a CEO from outside.
stemis: No Joe, you are not alone but the share price reflect the mind set of shareholders and potential shareholders who've lost some confidence in management (or in Horndean's case, all I think most investors probably saw this as a low risk scenario in which management would buy some properties and net income would rise linearly and quickly to cover the initial dividend and then provide a rising income. It clearly hasn't worked like that. But sometimes business doesn't. I do disagree with Jonwig to some extent in that it would have been an easy option for management to just give some bland statement about cutting costs. Instead they've nailed their colours to the mast with some pretty firm targets against which the market can assess them. I doubt they'd survive missing them so I assume they are confident they are achievable. If they do the market will be buying the shares again at 110p+.
jonwig: SteMiS - A 91p target would be lower than the previous one (23 Nov) of 94p, but 'hold' would be logical at a share price of 89-90p.
jonwig: SteMiS - yes, that's a bit that concerns me (said earlier). The fact that the board *expects* is not enough to convince. I think they should have dropped forward guidance and proposed a dividend for 2018 which they knew would be covered (viz. 4.5p PID). They could then have raised it, if anything. As it is, they are hostage to downward revisions as well as upward. Clearly the share price can't really go much lower, I think!
jonwig: The July circular says that the new shares will be eligible for all future dividends and that the company will pay dividends quarterly, including November (6.1p for the current year). The section Risk Factors says in more than one place that dividends are not guaranteed. Usually these things are skipped, but maybe shouldn't be, in this case. I'd expect them to declare one very soon, or state why not. If they pass one (unlikely?) the share price drop would probably make this a strong buy, as it would signal that their big investors, or bankers were on their case. EDIT: they haven't acquired an income-producing asset since the fundraise, so dividend payment to the new shares would come right from capital!
jombaston: I sold several months ago as I saw better opportunities elsewhere and it was pretty clear, despite what the directors were saying, that the dividend was not covered. I certainly didn't expect such a fall in the share price. The question now is have the directors tempered their expansion ambitions? Does the Scottish sale mark a watershed? I guess this is developing into a situation where you have to ask whether you trust the management. Unfortunately I have never had any contact with them although I would be interested in seeing them present should they reach out to a wider audience. So I would say the jury is still out - let's see what they do next...
bscuit: Awhile back Mr Bearbull concurrently reviewed ESP and PHP and preferred the former for its 1% more yield, but in the same timeframe ESP share price has much more significantly declined and the WJG has performed significantly better albeit with a sharply lower yield. Overall for me ESP has been a poor investment.
tidcombe: To see the FT article if you are not a subscriber just do a Google search for "Student property fund enrols new investors" "An investment trust that buys student accommodation has announced a new share issuance as yield-hungry investors continue to pile into the asset class. Empiric Student Property, which is the larger of two UK-listed student property funds with total assets of £635m, is aiming to raise £150m. The company plans to invest the cash into providing about 3,500 new beds, including 1,000 in London, following the purchase of a portfolio of sites and properties for about £112m. Investment in purpose-built student accommodation — which Empiric specialises in developing and leasing — hit its second-highest year on record in 2016, according to consultancy EY. Investors have been attracted by the promise of income and capital growth fuelled by a historic undersupply of student accommodation, but critics of the sector fear it could be hit by a harsher post-Brexit immigration policy. According to figures from Unite, the listed student property developer, there are 3.5 students for every purpose-built student bed, with a 60,000 increase in first year students predicted for the academic year beginning in 2017. Shares in Empiric are currently trading on a 5 per cent premium to net asset value, meaning investors are willing to pay more for shares than the value of the underlying assets. The company plans to issue its new shares at a discount of 2.6 per cent to the closing price on June 26. Other companies with exposure to student accommodation have also been sought-after investments in recent years. Shares in GCP Student Living, another investment trust, are trading at a 4.8 per cent premium, while shares in Unite Group, the largest listed developer of student accommodation, have almost trebled over the past five years. Launched in 2014, the Empiric’s current portfolio includes student accommodation in UK university towns ranging from Aberdeen to Southampton, with several new acquisitions in York and Portsmouth. Related article Buy-to-let investors target university cities Rise in student housing owned by private landlords, says report Despite its elevated price tag, Empiric has delivered a share price total return of 9.3 per cent over one year, and 26.2 per cent over three years, according to data from the Association of Investment Companies. Not everyone strikes an upbeat note about the investment prospects for student accommodation, however. Consultancy EY predicted last December that investors are likely to be hit by falling student numbers over the coming decade, while several university cities — including Coventry, Liverpool, Leicester and Durham — were already approaching “saturation point” for purpose-built student blocks. EY said government projections of growth in student numbers after 2013 have been too high, while concerns about the government’s proposed restrictions on student visa numbers remain. It also suggested the growth of apprenticeships would be an attractive alternative for teenagers uncomfortable with the idea of taking on large student debts. The Office for National Statistics also forecasts a decline in the total numbers of 18 and 19-year-olds in the UK, from 1.6m in 2016 to 1.4m in 2021. This article has been amended to clarify that the Empiric share issue will be at a 2.6 per cent discount to the closing price on June 26, not to net asset value.."
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