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 Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 87.50p 452,998 16:35:19
Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price
87.20p 87.30p 88.30p 87.20p 87.90p
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Real Estate Investment & Services 51.2 20.8 3.8 22.8 527.53

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Date Time Title Posts
23/5/201807:22EMPIRIC STUDENT PROPERTIES719
28/12/201207:35Spain3
26/4/201208:16Economics, Sentiment & Price2,939
11/9/200815:35Trading from Spain11
12/7/200215:55What is happening?20

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Empiric Student Property (ESP) Most Recent Trades

Trade Time Trade Price Trade Size Trade Value Trade Type
2018-06-19 15:53:1187.503,5723,125.50O
2018-06-19 15:52:2287.79812712.88O
2018-06-19 15:52:1787.66200175.31O
2018-06-19 15:37:3687.5020,00017,500.00O
2018-06-19 15:35:1987.5088,25477,222.25UT
View all Empiric Student Property trades in real-time

Empiric Student Property (ESP) Top Chat Posts

DateSubject
19/6/2018
09:20
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 87.50p.
Empiric Student Property has a 4 week average price of 85.10p and a 12 week average price of 81.20p.
The 1 year high share price is 115.25p while the 1 year low share price is currently 81.20p.
There are currently 602,887,740 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 1,522,289 shares. The market capitalisation of Empiric Student Property is £527,526,772.50.
25/4/2018
12:43
jonwig: Will the growth of online degrees have an impact? Https://hub.birmingham.ac.uk/news/online-degree-programmes-growth-impact-on-education This isn't an immediate threat, but it might indicate that the property aspect is going ex-growth. DIGS (which I hold) hasn't made much share price progress for ages, though London's prestige value for rich overseas students is propping it up. ESP is probably due a short-term boost, but how will its estate value react to extra voids? Are its buildings adaptable for alternative use?
24/3/2018
17:13
brwo349: The only surprise is the share price went up after the results. There are far more attractive REITS out there than this one.
22/3/2018
19:58
speedsgh: Q&A session from the FY2017 Final Results webcast, part 4... Q (Michael Prew, Jefferies: 40m37s) Mike Prew, Jefferies. Just really following on from the student bed-ratio. Is that the criteria that you’re going to use to select which locations you’re going to start selling? Will there therefore be any margin enhancement affected by the sales programme? And if you are realising cash, surely a share buyback option would be a sensible option? A (Tim Attlee, Acting CEO: 41m00s) So, I think we’ve suggested that we’ve made a top-to-bottom analysis of the business in all its facets and among that has been an analysis of the performance of every single asset against a number of criteria. So student-bed ratio is a really interesting one and it is something where you can take into account the existing supply-and-demand ratio as well as the future supply-and-demand ratio. And it’s an interesting indicator for future rental growth. So there are cities which have got a relatively modest SBR ratio, so somewhere like for example Falmouth which is close to my heart in Cornwall where the SBR ratio is very high at 2.7 or nearly 3. And a city where you’ve got a lower ratio, such as Liverpool, where it’s a well provided city at 1.3. But interestingly from our perspective, what we’ve discovered is that there isn’t necessarily a straight line correlation between a performance or a margin and the SBR ratio, or indeed rental growth because in the end it’s all about the real estate, it’s all about the assets you’ve got in the city. A low SBR ratio, in other words where there is a lot of supply, will potentially constrain your ability to drive rental growth because you’ve got a lot of competition. But it’s not necessarily the only parameter that’s used either to select an asset for disposal or to select places where you might develop. Because if you have an exceptional location in a city, even a well-supplied city, there’s still a case for acquiring it. A (Stuart Beevor, Acting Chairman: 42m40s) And to answer your second question, Mike, in terms of buybacks and so on, as you can imagine the Board has considered all sorts of different matters but our main focus is delivering this improvement plan and, if we can do that, then we hope that the share price will get back to where we think it should be. And that’s our main focus. If I can just add very briefly, one of the challenges that we have at the moment is making sure that we deliver the right income to cover the dividend but at the same time use our capital, our balance sheet, to take advantage of development opportunities where we’ve got expertise and we can add extra value. And so that’s part of our consideration at the moment, it’s to get the right balance between all of those things.
21/3/2018
09:56
stemis: The main thing is that they are making progress. Overheads cut by £1.8m in H2 and targets that they outlined around the interims remain in place, which hopefully suggests they are confident they are achievable. Although dividend won't be covered by rental profit until at best 2019, net asset value will also be driven by valuation of properties. Unless there is yield expansion I'm assuming valuations will effectively track rent rises. Even 2% would be enough to protect NAV from erosion by dividend. So I'm happy to collect a 5.8% yield (at current 86.5p Share price) and let them get on with it.
22/2/2018
18:14
hannath: In tomorrow’s Moneyweek Tapping students for cash This student-property fund shocked investors with a dividend cut last year, but its shares now look better value EDINBURGH: A RESILIENT MARKET FOR THE LONG TERM This week I have a contrarian idea for the more adventurous fund investor. Empiric Student Property (LSE: ESP) has fallen out of favour in recent months and its shares are trading at around 84p versus a net asset value (NAV – the value of the assets in the underlying portfolio minus its liabilities) of about 103p. This reflects a number of problems that emerged at the end of last year, which prompted the hiring of a new CEO and a big strategic review. However, I’ve been tracking this specialist fund for some time now, and have a sense that it might have turned a corner and be back on the straight and narrow. Empiric is a classic example of looking in the wrong place for risk. Like many investors, I’ve been worried about a turning in the tide of foreign students filling up university accommodation. Higher-education funding is the subject of massive political debate and the prime minister is evidently vexed by the sheer number of foreign students coming into the UK. I’ve also been worried about the number of new operators entering the student-housing market. However, my worries about a competitive market and changing policy were misplaced. My real concern should have been how well Empiric could execute its business. In retrospect, this should not have been a complete surprise. Unite, the dominant player in the student-housing market, also had a sticky patch a few years back as it built up its student-housing brand and made the switch from a pure development focus to an outfit more like a cash-flow-focused real-estate investment trust. The firm has since performed very well. THE UNKINDEST CUT Still, the news of Empiric’s setback was understandably not well received by investors. In particular, few income investors would have liked the dividend cut, which took the target payout down to 5p per share. The shares tumbled from around 113p in September – a substantial premium to NAV – to stand almost 25% lower at the time of writing. The good news is that Empiric has reacted quickly to its problems. As well as replacing its CEO it has announced a number of measures to improve operational efficiencies and lower costs. However, this hasn’t stopped growing its pipeline of new units. Just a few weeks ago, the fund announced a new acquisition of a 240-bed student property in Southampton for £10.6m. GCP Student Living, a rival student-property fund, has focused more on prime London properties, but I think I prefer the more provincial approach favoured by Empiric – as long as it can hit its targets. London is a great market for foreign students, but it’s also heinously expensive and very dependent on those foreign students. Empiric has been happier to range widely into the second-tier cities such as Cardiff, Edinburgh and Southampton, which might be more resilient over the long term – and offer slightly better value. The current share price of 84p puts the fund on a sensible discount to NAV. The lowered dividend equates to a yield of 6%, which feels about right. Personally I’d prefer the share price to be closer to 80p and the yield at around 6.5% before I’d definitely jump back in. Market volatility might well deliver that price some time soon.
22/12/2017
08:55
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...
12/12/2017
13:48
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.
04/12/2017
21:30
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 confidence...lol). 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+.
15/10/2017
09:52
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.
05/7/2017
12:18
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.."
Empiric Student Property share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange
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