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
  -0.50 -0.03% 1,835.50 1,933,785 16:35:18
Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price
1,843.00 1,843.50 1,851.50 1,808.00 1,815.50
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Tobacco 32,791.00 3,238.00 299.90 6.1 17,445
Last Trade Time Trade Type Trade Size Trade Price Currency
18:12:06 O 1,056 1,823.126 GBX

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Date Time Title Posts
01/7/202211:22Imperial Brands PLC (formerly Imperial Tobacco)7,621
31/7/202014:48IMPERIAL BRANDS2
26/9/201908:25Imperial Brands Podcast on Trading Update-

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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 1,836p.
Imperial Brands Plc has a 4 week average price of 1,736.50p and a 12 week average price of 1,612p.
The 1 year high share price is 1,888p while the 1 year low share price is currently 1,434.50p.
There are currently 950,408,101 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 2,466,646 shares. The market capitalisation of Imperial Brands Plc is £17,444,740,693.86.
marktime1231: Why? Why do you prefer debt reduction to buybacks in all circumstances? Why would you continue to pay down debt which costs <3%, why would you continue to rapidly drive down borrowing to a sub-optimal level which Bomhard says is around 2 x ebitda, when the cost of paying dividends is >7%? The economics are clear while shares are so cheap. Why not divert some of the surplus cash to buybacks, you get twice the bang for your buck? When the headline in the analyst report is no longer the "mountain of debt" negative sentiment why keep paying it down so sharply? A buyback is on the cards so that ESG-minded institutions can sell down without dumping on the market, something which has probably been depressing the share price, partly why we are on a p/e of 7. A buyback is what some analysts and big institutional holders want, they have been asking for it. A buyback may or may not directly strengthen the share price, but it is a bit perverse to say the board is selfishly minding their own interests by consolidating value. A buyback concentrates the value of remaining shares and increases pro-rata the dividend-per-share, payments can be progressed without increasing the gross cost of the dividend. Permanently. Embedding dividend progress. That is a good thing, isn't it? Especially if you are here for the long term. Bomhard has promised to consider capital returns when net debt is approaching 2 x ebitda. He may continue to chip away at debt to reinforce IMBs credit worthyness and image of financial prudence. But not at the £1B+ pa rate he is cutting debt at the moment. Not forever. You may be more comfortable with even lower debt (I suspect Bomhard is himself similarly conservative), but there is a level at which it becomes less of a priority. There has to be a limit, where is yours? By capital returns I am hoping he means buybacks and no splashing out special dividends. No need to ramp up the distributions. He does not need to bribe the market because the yield is already about the best you can get. A buyback makes good sense for all sorts of reasons, once you get past the notion that is not an attempt to artificially support the share price for the benefit of the board. It would, all else being equal, make the long-term dividend prospect more secure and attractive. It may or may not also support the share price. Dismissing buybacks as always disappointing, as a fad, as an easy option, as self-interest is harsh, a bit of a prejudice actually. When debt is in control and the cost of debt is lower than the cost of divdends.
marktime1231: IMB in better shape than it has been for two and a half years, my feeling is that the share price is set to keep getting stronger, not too worried by any bumps around the dividend cycle. Investors' Chronicle, which as a matter of policy seems to be harsh on anything which doesn't agree with ESG ideals, in the person of Christopher Akers posted a Sell note over the weekend. Despite acknowledging that Bomhard's strategy appears to be succeeding, despite phenomenal debt reduction progress from super cash flow, despite the consensus view from analysts that on balance of risk/reward the outlook is a 15-20% upside. Apart from the obvious negative of being a tobacco company Akers warns that the US FDA is moving towards a ban on menthol cigarettes, which a bit of research says could account for up 10% of that market revenues. Hmmm. The consequence of such a ban was immediately priced in when it was first mooted. 4 years ago. And they are still talking about proposals. No mention of the excellent dividend yield. No mention of the consumer defensive quality of tobacco in the face of an inflation cycle. No mention of a possible buyback starting next year. But Akers says "we are not yet convinced of the merits of an upgrade". The "we" is presumably the voices in his head. The "yet" is utterly bonkers. Another example where IC is telling punters to Sell a stock which has an improving share price and an improving outlook because the story is mostly good. They mean the opposite of what they conclude, ignore the ethical filter, it is a logical Buy as an investment.
marktime1231: The net effect of a stronger dollar will be interesting to see. Yes tobacco is a mature declining market, we know this, IMB is not a growth pick. But if you believe in the reports since Bomhard set his course then by advancing prices, restraining costs and concentrating on core markets IMB are able to offset volume decline. The latest guidance said expect +1% even after the Russia exit. Certainly the outlook is that pricing will sustain revenues enough to continue to dramatically reduce net debt, progress the dividend, and (cue frothing at the mouth from those who do not appreciate the economic advantage) hopefully enough surplus to buyback a good chunk of shares to appease institutions looking to offload. If they are able to start a buyback to begin to clear the overhang of sellers it just might stimulate an improving share price. If not it will concentrate the dividend. Other bigger tobacco stocks are perhaps better able to chase growth through novel products, and take on the risks of how the regulators will respond. Good luck to them. IMB tried that and decided the risks were greater than the rewards, so it has chosen a different strategy based on the core business, and pays a significantly superior dividend. Different yes, but which is better depends on your point of view.
philanderer: Deutsche Bank: Disconnect in Imperial Brand shares Deutsche Bank believes there is a ‘disconnect217; between the share price of Imperial Brands (IMB) and the value of the tobacco giant. Analyst Gerry Gallagher retained his ‘buy’ recommendation and target price of £21 on the stock, which rose 1.1% to £16.78 on Friday. ‘Setting aside the almost inevitable question of “what’s the catalyst?”, we have to continue to question the extent of the disconnect between Imperial’s share price and a fundamental assessment of the value of the cashflows,’ he said. The analyst said the trading update ahead of first-half results in May was ‘in line with our expectations as previously adjusted for the Russia-Ukraine war’, with the group confirming it was on track despite weak European tobacco sales. Strong sales in the UK, US, and Australia have helped to offset declines in Germany and Spain.
4spiel: What is the Russian potential loss on IMB share price 300p?
marktime1231: Scottish Widows, the £190B LLOY pension manager, says it is withdrawing its investments from tobacco if it hasn't already done so ... "“Industries such as tobacco are at severe risk of becoming stranded assets, as they face intense pressure from investors, regulators and consumers, and consistently fail to properly address the social impacts of their products and within their supply chain,” said Maria Nazarova-Doyle, head of pension investments and responsible investments." I imagine the £millions of investments in high yielding tobacco stocks are where many UK pensioners get their income, but fair enough there is pressure not to invest in dirty business. SW are also right in the sense that tobacco is a declining industry with a finite horizon, athough we have been saying that for 40 years already and I reckon we will be saying it in another 20. What does this mean for those of us prepared to remain invested in IMB for the high yield? More years (decades?) of downward pressure on the share price while those with a strong conscience divest. To counter IMB needs to continue its high-reward strategy, keep shrinking the debt, and get on with major buyback programme to hoover up unwanted shares in order to concentrate value, sustain yield. Which means protecting the strong cash flow, not investing in vanity projects, concentrating on core markets and brands. Tick. When Bomhard set us on this strategy, assuming it succeeds, I tried to imagine what IMB might look like in 5-10 years time. We might be approaching debt-free, except there will be a takeover or take-private long before then. The end-game for me is not a stranded asset but one which appreciates 30% when a buyer comes knocking. As a voluntary smoker (who voluntarily quit 15 years ago) I have no qualms about investing in tobacco.
marktime1231: BAT putting surplus proceeds into a buyback, something we expect from IMB in due course, will please the institutional investors if not Spud. £2B through Dec 2022 is about 2-2.5% of market cap. IMB could spend less than half that amount of cash and return twice as much to investors pro-rata, underpinning much better dividend growth than BATs measly +1%. Does IMB have the surplus cash flow available yet, well maybe not through the big dividend cycle we are enjoying right now, but by the time of the Interims in May I would say yes. That sort of announcement increasingly likely. In comparison I would say IMBs recent results were better. BAT has declining revenues from conventional products whereas IMB was able to report revenue growth through pricing up. BATs slow growth in next gen is still making losses. Nevertheless BATs net margin 30-35% towers over IMBs 7-10%. BAT saying benefit from pricing up will be weighted to second quarter means it is not enjoying much benefit at the moment. I wonder if Bomhard's plan of making the most from IMBs core markets, trying to get more margin from weaker brands, is a short term winner albeit in the longer term BAT will be a winner from the next gen market. Very rewarding to have IMB nudge through £18 this morning, no doubt triggering lots of stop-gains, now we need to watch to see if it will hit resistance or step on up.
cassini: 1viky, Yes. However, if instead you sold, say, the day before ex-div, on the 16th, you'd still in effect get the full value of the dividend, but it would form part of the share price. On ex-div day, the 17th, IMB should open 48p lower than at the close the day before as the 48p dividend has then theoretically been taken off the company's books (and therefore share price) overnight and allocated to shareholders. So, you will get the 48p per share dividend paid to you (a while later) but that 48p divi just came off the price you got for the share! To complicate matters further, it seems a lot of people (for tax reasons or whatever) like to sell out of IMB a little before ex-dividend day rather than take the divi so it's not unusual for IMB's price to peak a week or more before ex-dividend day (and crater in the days following ex-div day), so it can pay to actually sell out early. There are no guarantees things will go the way I described though so selling out early is a gamble, IMB has been showing strength recently.
marktime1231: BAT is cheap but IMB is cheaper on p/e. IMB has heavy debt but BAT's is colossal. Both are cutting debt fast. BAT pays 7.5% but IMB pays 8.5%. Both cut dividends deeply in the last 5 years and lost half their share price as a result but both now look sustainable and are reporting "on track". IMB is attempting to stablise revenues by reinforcing its tobacco brands in its core markets, while BAT is investing more in next gen products. It remains to be seen if and when either strategy will succeed, but all they need to do over the next ten years is keep making profits without blowing it all on vanity projects or cash handouts. Neither wins in terms of global sales (China companies) or premium brands (PMI/JTI). IMB has about a quarter of BATs market cap and so might be an easier acquisition target. Both are printing cash and represent an inflation safe haven as punters rotate out of growth into defensive value. IMB got a boost during covid lockdown I think because restrictions cut out cross-border smuggling and the trade in fake cigarettes, punters had to buy more of the real thing locally. BAT may also have benefitted. That boost seems to have outweighed the decline in duty free trade. Both sell death in a declining market with known and as yet unknown regulatory threats. Their markets will probably be much smaller and look very different in 10 or 20 years time. There is a case to invest in both or neither, they are more similar than different.
marktime1231: A terrific and brave argument in favour of large cap high tech growth over value and income stocks, thank you for keeping us grounded. Given the way growth stocks have been taking a pounding facing into the headwind of inflation, the no-brainer choice SMT down 22% over 3 months for example, your confidence is presumably based on the long-term. You don't think IMB has bottomed then, that the trend from here is generally upwards albeit some dips on the way. £14 more likely than £20 this year and maybe next but what about the eight years after that? Is £14 more likely than £18 too? The announcement of a fledgling buyback might change the mood. I note in contrast to SMT good old IMB has risen 10% in the last 3 months while (because it is) paying big. The trouble with super growth stocks like Fbook / Meta, which don't pay an income, is you have to be clever (lucky) twice ... you have to decide which are the right stocks to buy in the first place, and then you also have to decide which stocks to sell when you need to draw. Or do you not need to draw, keep on accumulating so you end up the richest man in the graveyward. Those of us pensioners are very grateful for the steady high income which IMB provides. All we have to decide is when to buy some more because the share price is such a bargain, or when to trim some because it looks like there is a cycle coming. If you had reinvested in IMB (what you sold at £29) when the share price was dragging in the low 12s during 2020 you would have more than doubled your holding, enjoyed a 35% gain since, and be getting a dividend equivalent over 11%. Every year. And rising. So yes then this is a tremendous pensioner stock, about the best there is right now. It serves a very different purpose to the stocks you advocate. It doesn't make one choice good or the other bad. Just different. Let us celebrate and appreciate that. ps if we see £14 again that would be a tremendous buying opportunity which even you might consider.
Imperial Brands share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange
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