Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Imperial Brands Plc LSE:IMB London Ordinary Share GB0004544929 ORD 10P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  -6.50 -0.4% 1,634.50 1,726,618 16:35:20
Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price
1,629.00 1,629.50 1,658.50 1,627.00 1,630.00
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Tobacco 32,562.00 2,166.00 158.30 10.3 15,638
Last Trade Time Trade Type Trade Size Trade Price Currency
17:06:34 O 969 1,639.193 GBX

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Imperial Brands Daily Update: Imperial Brands Plc is listed in the Tobacco sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker IMB. The last closing price for Imperial Brands was 1,641p.
Imperial Brands Plc has a 4 week average price of 1,513.50p and a 12 week average price of 1,203p.
The 1 year high share price is 2,072p while the 1 year low share price is currently 1,203p.
There are currently 956,736,947 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 1,880,439 shares. The market capitalisation of Imperial Brands Plc is £15,637,865,398.72.
spud: Overlooked High Dividends? 9% Yield From Imperial Brands Summary Imperial Brands is a UK tobacco company that also trades in New York. Because it's not a U.S. company, many dividend investors overlook this high yielder. In May, the company reduced the dividend by a third in an excess of caution and to focus on debt reduction. In fact, the company did not have to reduce its dividends as they were fully covered by the year's earnings. The stock took an unjustified beating and now trades at a very attractive valuation. Imperial Brands PLC (OTCQX:IMBBY) is a UK-based tobacco company with many key cigarette brands in its portfolio including Winston, Davidoff, Gauloises, Kool, West, Fine, and many others. Imperial Brands trades at a very attractive dividend yield, currently at 10%. Due to the COVID-19 economic uncertainties, Imperial Brands had decided to reduce its dividends by one-third back in May. This reduction was done in an excess of caution by management. In fact, if we look at the 2020 figures, IMBBY did not need to reduce the old dividends as they were fully covered for their fiscal year 2020 (FY2020 ended Sept. 30, 2020). We will show more details later in this report why the old dividend was fully covered, and that management did not need to reduce it. However, as a result of the dividend reduction, the stock took a huge beating. Today, the stock trades under $19 per share (post ex-dividend 11/27). Before the market crash and the dividend reduction, the stock was trading at $26.75. Therefore today, the stock trades at about a 30% discount of its pre-COVID-19 price. Is this pullback justified? We will show in this report that this pullback has created a unique buying opportunity. Recent Financial Performance Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the dividend payout ratio was at 76% which is not an excessive payout ratio and provided plenty of cushion. Management was planning to grow the dividend in 2020 and talking about how growth had been 10% in past years. All of the comments about the dividend were positive in the 2019 year-end report. On Feb. 5, 2020, the company issued a press release about some unexpected headwinds. This was due to a ban on flavored vaping products. The press release makes mention of a 10% decrease in earnings per share due to the phasing of inventory write-downs, primarily relating to the US flavor ban. Here, as investors, we should note that most of these write-downs are one-time adjustments, and therefore will not be recurring. Also the negative news impacts only the NGP segment which accounts about 4% of total revenues. This "one-time adjustment" and a reduction to revenues shouldn't have had a big impact on the ability of the company to continue to support the dividend. Remember, the dividend had a relatively high coverage ratio. On March 31, 2020, the company issued a press release primarily talking about its renewal of its credit facility. The company noted that while the COVID-19 crisis had not yet fully played out, that "there has been no material impact on Group performance to date and current trading remains in-line with expectations." For the fiscal year 2020's earnings report, the company did indicate that COVID-19 had driven some costs up and had significantly reduced sales in duty free shops at airports. Even looking at the H1 2020 earnings report from May 2020, it wouldn't seem like a cut was needed. The company beat previous guidance by 1%. Given dividend guidance and doing better than expected on earnings, one would think that the dividend wasn't at risk. So Why the Dividend Cut? The slide above shows why management decided to cut the dividend. Earnings decreased right around the amount that management had estimated, but due to continuing uncertainty about COVID-19, they decided to prioritize debt reduction, and raising cash to invest in non-traditional smoking products. This is despite the fact that they had just gotten a new credit facility that they had not yet drawn on. The dividend reduction was by 33%. For sure, the uncertainty with COVID-19 played a big role in this decision, and I believe that management did the right thing. This can be explained by the fact that for many European companies, management tends to be more conservative and does not hesitate to reduce the dividends in uncertain times. Dividend reductions are not as frowned upon as much in Europe as they are in the United States. The question remains, did the company cut the dividend because it wasn’t generating enough cash to pay it? Or did the company cut it in an excess of caution to strengthen the balance sheet? The main difference between the reported earnings and the adjusted earnings was that the adjusted earnings backs out a large non-cash charge from write downs on intangible assets. So adjusted earnings will give us a better idea of how much actual cash Imperial Brands had to pay dividends. For fiscal year 2019, Imperial had adjusted earnings of 272.3 pence per share and paid dividends of 206.6 pence per share, for a payout ratio of 76%. For the fiscal year 2020, the adjusted earnings per share was 254.4 pence. While adjusted earnings saw a decrease from the prior year of 6.6%, it still more than covered the previous dividend payment without the need to reduce it. In fact, the old dividend coverage was at 81%. Clearly this company did not have to reduce its dividend. It was a preemptive move to preserve cash in uncertain times. The Pullback Opens the Door for a Unique Buying Opportunity Let us take a look at the 2020 full year results. Operating earnings were down by 6.6%. Does this justify a pullback in the stock by 30%? It sure does not. Investors have panicked as a result of the dividend cut resulting in a very cheap valuation and a unique buying opportunity. The Future Outlook The slide above is the revised guidance for FY 2020 issued in May. Given that the dividend is reduced by a third, it looks like the guidance provides plenty of support for the dividend. The payout ratio is now around 55%, much better than the 76% we saw in April, and even better than the 70% from a few years ago. Earlier in the year, Imperial thought the increase in volumes was a temporary response to COVID-19 lockdowns and customers being afraid they would run out. But so far much of the trend in increased volumes have continued, as reported in their last status update on October 8th. On Nov. 17 Imperial released their latest earnings report, for their fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2020, providing full-year results for FY2020. Imperial raised its prices which had a positive impact on revenue (and profits too). Also, tobacco volumes declined significantly less than expected. This is actually quite common with tobacco companies – volumes decline, but price increases are enough to produce modest gains in revenue and profit. The big unexpected hit to revenue came from the NGP segment, in particular the sale of vaping products in the US due to a flavored products ban. On a good note, much of the negative impact was mitigated in H2. This slide above shows the changes in operating profits from 2019 to 2020. The biggest negative impact is due to the ban on flavored vaping products in the US. But also note that the response to COVID-19 also resulted in increased costs (to implement various protocols to slow or inhibit the spread of the virus). Notice that unlike the Adjusted Operating Income, the Reported Operating Income was actually quite a bit higher this year because last year had a big write down for the sale of the cigar division. The proceeds from that sale were used to reduce debt levels. The slide above shows how each of the major regions did on volumes between 2019 and 2020. Notice that the volumes in Europe declined quite significantly. Imperial has a fairly large sales volume in duty-free shops at airports in Europe, so with air travel down so significantly, it hit their sales in such shops very hard. Even with that unexpected hit, volumes still dropped less than expected. Apparently, with folks staying at home more due to COVID-19, they smoked more. Imperial is guiding for a low to mid single-digit growth in operating profit which will provide even better coverage for the dividend. Management does not expect any significant recovery in the duty free segment and expects volume declines to return to more normal (and thus faster) levels. This is generally a slight improvement to their outlook from earlier this year. Very Attractive Valuation Imperial reduced their adjusted net debt by £1.1bn. Reported net debt declined by £0.8bn after including £0.3bn of lease liabilities due to the adoption of IFRS16, a new accounting standard. This allowed Imperial to reduce their Debt to EBITDA ratio to 2.7x from 2.9x a year ago. Considering the dividend yield as a proxy for value, we can see that the current yield of 9.2% is significantly above the average over the last three years. While the market has responded quite positively to the latest performance numbers from Imperial’s management, the stock remains greatly undervalued. FY 2020 adjusted earnings were 254.4 pence or $3.36. With the market price of around $20, that gives a P/E ratio of just 6 times. That is significantly better than the P/E for Altria (MO), which trades over 9 times earnings. Another important valuation metric (other then the P/E ratio) is Enterprise Value / EBIDTA (or EV/EBITDA). This valuation metric is very important because it takes into account the "debt level" of the company to derive its valuation. Imperial Brands' EV/EBITRA ratio stands today at a very cheap level of 7.3 times. Altria is also cheap using this metric at 8.4 times, but it's still 15% more expensive than Imperial Brands. Price Target As of November 23, 2020, there are 17 banks and analysts who cover the stock with a consensus rating of "BUY" on the stock, and an average consensus price target of $25.94, suggesting a ~40% potential upside from the current price. At $25.94/share, this would put the valuation of IMBBY at a P/E ratio of 7.8, which is very reasonable and even on the cheap side. We should note that IMBBY traded well above $26/share earlier in 2020. Bottom Line Imperial Brands reduced its dividends by 33% earlier this year in a conservative move following uncertainties of the pandemic. As we have shown above, the company did not need to reduce its dividends as they were fully covered based on the 2020 earnings. As a result of the dividend cut, investors panicked and the stock took a huge beating. It's trading today at a 30% discount to its pre COVID-19 price. This is clearly an overreaction because its operating earnings only declined by 6.6% and are expected to grow back up next year. Management made good use of the cash they retained. They reduced debt significantly and increased share buybacks. Today the stock yields ~10% with a payout ratio of 55%. This is a dividend with a high level of safety. The pullback has resulted in very low valuations as evidenced by its P/E ratio of 6 times and an EV/EBITDA valuation of 7.3 times. Analysts have a price target of $25.94 suggesting a 40% upside from here. Income investors should take advantage of this unique opportunity to juice up the yield in their portfolio. spud
fenners66: Just caught up with 600 posts or so - reading with the benefit of hindsight. The discussion of cutting dividend further and the potential effect on the share price had me thinking about the new CEO and his role. What is his role ? Is it to support the share price or is it to strengthen the business and ensure that it has a stronger balance sheet / cash flow and future profits ? I do believe that if he achieves the latter 3 then he gets a better share price anyway. So with that in mind I guess if the business needs - and I mean IF it NEEDS - not saying whether it does or not - a dividend cut , then he does it regardless of impact on share price. His share options may need a higher share price but so what ? Its like BOD's doing buybacks just to try and support EPS through financial engineering rather that running the business they care more for some financial metrics than running the business. So although as an owner of many shares I am livid at directors running businesses for their own benefit to the detriment of shareholders, I do get the idea that if debt is too high then it should be cut. Question is , is the debt too high ? Clearly it should never have been allowed to get so high - now as long as there is a meaningful reduction plan then the dividend cut is sufficient. Next stop cut out the fat. Take a fresh look at the BOD and management admin costs - this is not an innovative industry - just run it efficiently and get rid of dead wood /hangers on.
spud: 3 falling shares with recovery potential? ITV, GSK and Imperial Brands Shares in ITV plc (LON:ITV) (ITV.L), GlaxoSmithKline plc (LON:GSK) (GSK.L) and Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) (IMB.L) have fallen since the start of 2020. Could they deliver recoveries over the long run? The ITV share price is down by around 40% since the start of this year. The company’s performance has been severely hurt by a slowing UK economy. As a cyclical business, it’s not a major surprise to me that the company has experienced slowing demand for advertising while business and consumer confidence is at a very low level. I’ve been impressed with the way in which ITV has responded to difficult trading conditions this year. I think its decision to reduce costs, invest in digital growth opportunities and press ahead with innovative plans such as its marketing opportunities show that it has the potential to expand its presence in a variety of mediums in the long run. I’m not expecting a quick recovery for the ITV share price. I’m cautious about the UK’s economic outlook over the next few months. But I do think that it has the capacity to post improving performance over the long run. The GSK share price has surprised me a little this year. The company’s investor updates have generally been pretty positive, to my mind. For instance, its consumer healthcare segment has performed well and this has largely offset a disappointing performance in its vaccine segment. I also have held the view for many years that GSK is a relatively defensive stock. However, it’s 17% decline since the start of this year suggests that this may not be entirely true. Over the long run, I’m upbeat about the prospects for the GSK share price. I think its plans to separate into two companies are sensible and have been mooted for many years. I’m also of the view that it’s 5%+ dividend yield could become more attractive as dividend growth opportunities move more in focus. The Imperial Brands share price has declined yet further this year. It’s down by another 30% in 2020 after a very challenging 2019. A change in management could spark a recovery in my opinion. However, I think it could take time for the company to reorganise, refresh its strategy and deliver improving financial performance. That said, I think the non-combustible segment offers longer term growth potential for companies such as Imperial Brands. Its existing cigarette brands may also provide the necessary cash flow to make investments in new growth areas as consumer trends continue to move towards less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. I’m not expecting the Imperial Brands share price to quickly recover. Neither am I expecting it to outperform the FTSE 100 in the short run. But, as a long-term investor, I think it is a more attractive business than its recent share price performance suggests. Disclosure: the author has no position in any stocks mentioned. spud
kiwi2007: tomleafs8 Nov '20 - 11:39 - 5631 of 5648 0 1 1 The share price was £16.50 prior to the H1 2020 results announcement (19th May) in which the decision was made to rebase the dividend by 33%. The shares are now selling for £12 which is directly proportional to the amount the dividend was cut. ------------------- and from 2016 ? The dividend was increased 50% over the next few years and yet the share price fell by over 50%..... so that appears to disproves your argument Tom. The company needs to talk to the institutions to help discover what would encourage them to invest. I'm sure most of them would, like myself, prefer a stable or rising share price along with a sensible dividend. That probably means reducing debt at a faster faster pace than they have done in the past.
spud: A more positive outlook for Imperial Brands shares ahead The tobacco business has continued to perform well despite an uncertain and disrupted trading environment, says Imperial Brands (LSE:IMB) in its recent trading statement. The tobacco giant has forecast a drop in earnings per share of 6%, after making increased provisions for Covid costs and uncertainties. The share price stands at 1,300 (as at 23/10/20, which is 29.87% down year-to-date), with a dividend yield of 14.58% and an EPS of 0.9. Imperial Brands said it expected full-year net revenue to be broadly flat, as an unexpected 1% increase in its tobacco business offset a 30% drop in its new Next Generation Products business (which includes its vaping products). We see this as a creditable performance, considering the significant headwinds the company was facing even before Covid. GlobalData research shows that in the UK, cigarettes sales are expected to fall 15%, with a 13% drop in value in 2019-2020 compared to pre-Covid projections. GlobalData estimates that the tobacco industry has lost $1.9bn in revenues as a result of anti-smoking measures introduced by governments to promote health, while the obvious concerns over respiratory health during the Covid crisis, coupled with consumers’ tightened budgets, lockdown-related closures and social distancing have all affected the consumption of tobacco products. Imperial Brands’ debt pile has forced the sale of its premium cigar business for just over £1.12bn. Imperial Brands has also had to scale back investment in its New Generation Products business, after the business failed to meet expectations as the next frontier for the tobacco industry. Imperial Brands’ customers have shown their brand loyalty throughout the Covid crisis, and can be expected to continue driving the company’s revenue growth and generating cash for dividends into the new year and beyond. Whether the FTSE 100 stalwart can maintain its profitability and cash flow for dividends over the long term, in the face of mounting regulatory pressure and the increasingly widespread use of ethical fund screening, remains to be seen. Another unknown is the new chief executive Stefan Bomhard, who has already made a number of senior hires to bring in new ‘perspectives’. He is also conducting a strategic review of the business, with the aim of making some initial observations when the preliminary results are published on 17 November. The Imperial Brands share price, like much of the London stock market, has declined steadily since the Brexit vote in 2016, as investors shunned UK stocks. But with all such negative factors baked into the share price, we like to think that Imperial Brands stock could benefit when the UK/EU negotiations are finally concluded in the coming months, lifting a significant source of uncertainty from investors’ minds. With the matter finally resolved, deal or no deal, investors may take another look at UK stocks, recognising them as among the most underpriced anywhere: Imperial Brands’ share priced has slipped from £35 five years ago to £13 today. We would also note Imperial’s wide economic moat, which means it is a dominant player in its sector. And it has one of the highest dividends in the FTSE 100, with plans to return excess cash to shareholders via share buybacks. To sum up, Imperial Brands is a well-run business that rewards its investors, and heading into calmer waters next year. spud
spud: Stock of the Week: Imperial Brands Tobacco giant is one of the highest-yielding stocks in the FTSE 100 despite a cut in the dividend earlier this year James Gard8 October, 2020 | 10:43AM For the latest stock of the week we asked our Twitter followers which high-yielding FTSE 100 stock we should write about and they have chosen tobacco firm Imperial Brands (IMB) above other dividend stalwarts like BP, Legal & General and Vodafone. Imperial Brands is one of only three UK companies covered by Morningstar that has both a wide economic moat and a five-star rating, which means that its shares are significantly undervalued. Analyst Philip Gorham assigns a £34 fair value estimate to the company’s shares, more than double the current price around £13. The company has been traditionally sought after for its defensive qualities and reliable dividends payouts. But in May the company announced a dividend cut, following many FTSE companies down that path, as part of first-half financial results for the year ended March 31, 2020. It declared a dividend of 41.7p per share, a 33% fall from the 62.56p paid to shareholders in the same period last year. The company said that this cut was part of further attempts to reduce debt and that it is maintaining its progressive dividend policy – essentially the payouts rise and fall depending on how well the company does, rather than the previous commitment to a fixed dividend. This change was decided in 2019, so the company had already taken steps to adjust its dividend policy before coronavirus caused chaos in the UK equity income space. Despite the dividend cut, Imperial yields over 13%, one of the highest in the FTSE 100, as the share price has maintained a downturn trend this year despite a minor recovery from the March market collapse. Smokers Are Good Customers Morningstar analysts think that Imperial has a wide economic moat, or sustainable competitive advantage, because smokers are loyal to its brands, the largest manufacturers benefit from economies of scale and tight regulation in the industry keeps competitors at bay and market shares stable. The nature of the product itself creates loyalty, Gorham says – “a majority of smokers attempting to quit fail to do so”, especially in premium segments where Imperial operates. While the tobacco industry is usually thought of as recession-proof, it has gone through something of an existential crisis in recent years and that partly explains Imperial’s share price slide from £35 five years ago to £13 today. What the companies call “next-generation products” such as vaping were supposed to help firms (and smokers) manage the transition away from traditional cigarettes. But a crackdown on vaping in the US has stalled expected growth in this area. Morningstar’s Gorham says that “government intervention is an omnipresent threat” in the industry and investors have to be prepared for a rough ride in share price terms. In its latest trading update on October 8, Imperial said it expected next-generation revenue to be down 30% this year, while tobacco revenue is expected to rise 1%. The pandemic, while boosting cigarette sales generally (people in lockdown have been smoking more), has hit duty free sales because of the collapse in international air travel. Among Morningstar-rated funds, Imperial makes up over 6% of the Silver-rated M&G Global Dividend Fund and over 4% of the Jupiter Income Trust, which also has a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver. spud
saltaire111: What is this strange thing that’s happening. IMB share price appears to be ... going up! I’m not used to this. This doesn’t feel right. Is something going wrong with the world? Salty
loganair: M2 - I seem to disagree with you on most points. 1. Reintroducing share buy backs will only cause IMB share price to continue to fall further as all IMB would be doing is a destruction of capital which could be far better spent on reducing their debt if the directors believe they have no where else to invest any excess capital. 2. Pension schemes much prefer Quarterly dividends as this gives them a regular income is why companies such as Shell pay them as do an increasing number of Investment Trusts do now days.
loganair: A good company generates good profits and converts these profits in to cash which they reinvest to generate good returns. Capital allocation discipline, to generate high returns - and what happened to IMBs capital allocation, they invested any cash into an area of smoking that so far has generated negative returns - no wonder why their share price keeps falling and the company is still not attractively Value...the share price is cheap compared to where it was this time last ever not attractively valued. Even more negative for IMBs share price is their outlook does not seem to be improving with the operational momentum of their business still going backwards which is being reflected in IMBs continuing fall in its share price. I have been saying this about IMB as its share price has continued to fall from £24 to c£13/£12. I am interested to hear any posters rational reasoning as to why they believe IMBs share price is attractively valued and why the share price will go back up to plus £20???
hydrogen economy: FT today say Income funds are switching out of oil and banks due to cuts in div payments, moving to Tobacco pharma and miners which have seen less and amaller cuts. BAT a top holding in 50% of income funds up from 38% in Jan and IMB held by 38% up from 20% in Jan. It hasn't done much for the IMB share price so far! probably matched by all the funds shifting to ESG investment.
Imperial Brands share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange
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