Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Marston's Plc LSE:MARS London Ordinary Share GB00B1JQDM80 ORD 7.375P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  0.30 0.26% 115.00 1,933,579 16:29:19
Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price
114.90 115.00 115.10 113.60 114.60
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Travel & Leisure 1,141.30 54.30 7.10 16.2 729.0
Last Trade Time Trade Type Trade Size Trade Price Currency
17:31:31 O 1,572 115.00 GBX

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Date Time Title Posts
25/6/201910:45Marstons...time to buy???3,142
18/6/201913:16Marstons - Needs Shaking Up !1,318
21/7/201811:24Is there Life on MARS?91
16/8/201715:56Is the brewery purchase toxic. Was always a good plodder before?1
24/5/200816:48MARS - The Iceman Cometh3

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Marston's Daily Update: Marston's Plc is listed in the Travel & Leisure sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker MARS. The last closing price for Marston's was 114.70p.
Marston's Plc has a 4 week average price of 103.90p and a 12 week average price of 97.70p.
The 1 year high share price is 116.20p while the 1 year low share price is currently 89.20p.
There are currently 633,991,930 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 4,084,027 shares. The market capitalisation of Marston's Plc is £729,090,719.50.
lukmanpatel: Another troll by the username lsehotdealz haha, share price is stagnant and there’s talks of fundraise at 10p on that board lol desperation has lead to going round posting on different board to prevent share price from dropping, usually ud stay quiet and average down and accumulate if you see huge potential lmaoo he’s spamming all the boards
cc2014: The share price continues to rise in a way I did not expect, which is to say I didn't see this coming based on the interims. I thought the interims a bit average. Ok, some more detail about the debt reduction plans but nothing really we hadn't been told before. The re profiling of the debt whilst helpful didn't do much for me as it mostly pushed the interest into later periods. I'm guessing therefore the rise is to do with the underlying trading performance and the confirmation of full year expectations. I note others such as JDW have been moaning about cost inflation impacting their bottom line so maybe MARS having this under control was sufficiently well received to merit the push up in price. Perhaps this was enough with falling bond yields globally and little risk to profits from Brexit to deserve this move up. Only most of this is not new news. Perhaps the market is becoming a little more confident that the directors will deliver what they say they are going to do. Or maybe switch to here from those selling utilities? Any thoughts anyone?
illiswilgig: Hmm. Fullers. Yes, good points. As a (very small) shareholder in Fuller's for many years I see that Fuller trapped themselves on the Griffin Brewery site. Fullers London estate of pubs and hotels has prospered and grown - alongside a lot of London based businesses. Fullers shares are highly rated - historically between 15x and 18x earnings. That rating expects a lot of growth. The growth can be attained through investing in the pubs and hotels - but the brewery also needs investment to grow. It's a masterpiece of efficiency on its 1845 Chiswick site but it can't expand. Fuller's can't afford to invest in both their London estate and a new brewery site. Continuing to try to do both will result in a share price fall as sufficient growth fails to materialise. They must have been under a lot of pressure to find a way out. Sad but true. Also Fullers have a great reputation as brewers - but they have only ever operated one brewery. They have no experience in operating or building other breweries. So that would be quite a big risk. Asahi have offered them a great way out. A sky-high price which reflects the location and value of the site rather than that of the brewery by brewing the London Pride brand globally - and Asahi take on the risks and investment associated with brewing at other sites for expansion. What this means for the griffin brewery in the long term - who knows? But I doubt you could hope for a better longterm owner than Asahi? If somebody offered Marston's £250m (or more given the size and capacity of their breweries in comparison) for the Burton or Bedford sites maybe they would take it? But nobody will, the Bedford brewery and business only cost Marston's £55m, and the Marstons estate with it's outside of London and the Southeast locations don't have the same growth prospects as Fullers London Estate. Marstons is a very different business, in location, scale and prospects. There is a reason why Marstons is on a multiple of 7x and Fullers on 17x. Marstons pays a dividend of 8% and Fullers 2%. Very different businesses with very different markets and opportunities. Selling Marstons breweries won't rerate it to 17x earnings. Sadly. My crystal ball is currently not operational so I can't say which one is the better investment. I have a larger holding in MARS than I do in FSTA partly due to topping up at recent lows. Neither holding is large in my portfolio. It will be interesting to see how it works out, apologies for the long ramble, cheers
jeffian: 2-for-1's may pull in the punters and be good for revenue, but they slash profit margin! It's a bit of a vicious spiral, as once one pub in the area starts to do it, the others almost have to follow and it's hard to get back to full price. As retailers have found out with their pre-Christmas sales and Black Friday promotions, you don't sell any more, you just end up selling it cheaper! Thanks to quady for the AGM report. Whilst the debt issue seems to have become important for this company, I think it misses the point about share price underperformance. ("He also acknowledged share price decline over the last year and said he hoped by the next meeting the market would have changed its view.") The fundamental reason why the shares are going nowhere is their profit growth performance has been so pedestrian and consistently behind their peers. They need to focus on boosting margins, profits and earnings per share and I'm afraid that investing in more breweries, brands and canning lines is not going to do it. It's all highly capital-intensive, low margin stuff. There is a certain romanticism in the industry because many of us like our beers and we love to see great ales properly produced, but in a public company the head has to rule the heart and if you look at the higher-rated brewers, they either focus on a limited range of beers (like Fullers) or have given up brewing and get someone else to do it for them (like Youngs). Regardless of steps to reduce debt, I don't see this share getting a decent rating unless and until we see some decent profit growth.
janekane: O yes it is Marstons Key Figures (at previous day's close) Market Cap. 627.30 m Shares In Issue 633.96 m Prev. Close 100.10 PE Ratio 6.97 Dividend Yield 7.58 % EPS - basic 14.20 p Dividend PS 7.50 p Dividend Cover 1.89 Cash Flow PS 33.69 p Return On Equity (ROE) 9.09 % Operating Margin 10.11 % PEG Factor 0.59 EPS Growth Rate 11.81 % Dividends PS Growth Rate 2.74 % Net Debt 1,889.40 m Gross Gearing 68.91 % Quick Assets 286.30 m Net Working Capital -113.90 m Intangibles / Fixed Assets 11.16 % Turnover PS 156.51 p Pre-Tax Profit PS 15.82 p Retained Profit PS 6.40 p Cash PS 27.54 p Net Cash PS -41.93 p Net Tangible Asset Value PS * 99.93 p Net Asset Value PS 146.92 p Spread 0.20 (0.20%) * Calculation based on Ordinary Capital figure as contained in last annual report, and the most recent shares in issue figure. Therefore the ratio might be exposed to inaccuracies. Marstons Balance Sheet LSE:MARS:Liabilities+EQLSE:MARS:Assets For Sector Balance Sheet comparisons Click here Share Price Performance Sample Period † High Low 1 week 101.00 98.25 4 weeks 102.60 90.10 12 weeks 102.60 89.20 1 year 121.30 89.20 Share Price Chart (5 years) Marstons Historic Returns Period † Open Change % Open Avg.
illiswilgig: Janekane, I think you put the dilemma well. High yield shares are often popular for supplementing income. I sometimes do the same, though I am not supplementing a pension. Not yet. Though my investing income is my main income. But there is no such thing as a free lunch and the high yield comes at a price. Normally the price to be paid is that much of the company profits (perhaps too much) are paid out in dividends and little is retained within the business to invest or pay down debts. Sometimes the high dividend yield occurs because fear in the stock market has overcome greed and suppressed the share price causing the dividend to rise. Effectively the market is betting upon the future cashflow from the business being lower than expected by the Board and eventually a dividend cut will follow. Just occasionally the market bets wrong and the future cashflow is sustained and the shareprice rises once greed overcomes fear. Marstons seems to be a classic case. Will greed or fear be the winner? At the moment it's fear. But we don't yet know which way it will play out. The signs are not good. The market is in decline. Costs are rising. Lots of competition. Economic clouds on the horizon......plenty of reasons to be fearful. The market would probably be less fearful if the debts were not so high. Of course Marston's could change strategy. Stop investing in its pub estate (though tatty pubs soon lead to declining sales), flog off a few each year to reduce debts (though they do that already but they could increase it) and perhaps most importantly cut the dividend to pay down debts. But how much would they need to reduce the debt to change the fear in the market? And how long would this take? IF they cut the divident entirely after a few years the debt pile will start to reduce significantly. But what would happen to the share price in the meantime? and will just reducing the dividend a bit lead to a significant reduction in debt anytime soon? The Board strategy is very clearly stated as the opposite. To invest in their pub estate, building new ones (with rooms) in locations that make a higher margin and selling off old ones in the wrong places. This strategy needs increasing revenue to more than compensate for the increasing costs and results in lower leverage as the revenue and profits climb. (I may have oversimplified the company strategy in the interests of keeping this short). So what to do? Essentially it comes down to whether my greed (for the income) overcomes my fear (informed by my knowledge, experience and research) for the future of the business. It's never easy to be greedy when others are fearful, or to be fearful when others are greedy (amended from Warren Buffett). Nor is it likely to be right most of the time to go against the market - as so often cheap shares are cheap for a good reason. It's my choice whether I invest in this company, knowing the strategy and even though there are difficult economic conditions on the horizon. If I don't agree with the strategy, or don't think it will work - then probably I should be looking for another investment. One that doesn't disturb my sleep at night. If, of course, you can find one that pays you the income you need? The renewable energy investment funds are proving popular in this regard at the moment (UKW, JLEN, TRIG, FSFL etc) but then - will the wind blow tomorrow and the sun shine? Questions, questions....and so little sleep :-) Good luck, cheers
quady: Jeffian - you've been on this share since the dawn of time, but I disagree so please enlighten me. The five year chart has Marstons hovering around the 140p up to the equity placing at just over 130p after costs. In the four years to the placing EPS rose sluggishly but reasonably. I doubt Mars was seen as a growth share in that time. In that period debt:eps remained roughly flat no? So far I can't see reason for a share price slump. Charles Wells has been EPS flat but improved debt:profit. I just can't see anything Marstons has done in the last 18 months which should've knocked off a third of the share price. I agree with Janekane that the franchise model makes the books more difficult to follow, but Mars is (IMHO) not cooking the books. The only thing I've noticed over the last year is Mars falls with GNK but either doesn't or only slightly rises with it. From where I'm sitting GNK has had a bad aquistition and Marstons a probably slightly helpful one. That is said drinking a bottle of McEwans Champion. I disagree that Marstons can't compete on price. Hobgoblin at £1.25, Banks is sold for under a quid. This Champion gets hit my minimum pricing in Scotland. One of the positives I see is Mars being able to raise margin in supermarkets over time a bit. I think the brand portfolio can be better used. Try the American Pale Mars does for Sainsbury's Taste the Difference on contract. They can do the quality for craft, just needs sticking in a can. The main fail of the CW acquisition, the failed canning line.... yet the market didn't react when that was made public. Odd.
jeffian: The divi bears no relation to the share price other than signalling that the market thinks it may be cut or the market doesn't care because it thinks the share price will go down anyway. The only criterion for setting the divi is whether it is affordable and sustainable. Cutting the divi because the share price is low is a nonsense. Many years ago, when Aviva was known as Norwich Union, it put out a statement saying that it thought that its divi yield (6%) was out of line with its peer group whose shares generally yielded around 3% and, therefore it was going to "rebase" (Ahem! cut) the divi by half. The market promptly halved its share price, so it still yielded 6%!
quady: QP - I have checked and Marstons peaked at about 330p in Feb 2007 on a rebated basic given the share split and rights issue, but that's not so material to your point. In short, I don't know why the slump, I wasn't invested then. But I can give some clues which others may pick up on to save me going into the accounts. By Nov 2008 the share price was at 60p. Between those two dates Marstons put in place their long term debt financing. Turnover is now about 40% higher than it was at peak share price, but profit flat between now and then. The dividend at the share price peak was about 2.7%, but payments in pence per share terms a bit higher than today. From the looks of it, it was misspriced in 2007. I think it's misspriced today, which is why I hold it. Beer might be in decline as a category, doesn't mean there isn't profit to be had. I also invest in BrewDog who's share valuation tragectory looks more like Amazon than Marstons. I doubt that in my lifetime beer will stop being sold, people stop going to restaunts and hotels. What I do doubt are FANG valuations being realistic. Anyway, Marstons is more of a bet on real estate and finance as it is beer. I'd be interested in others on here wisedom on why the share price fell so hard and hasn't bounced back.
illiswilgig: Hello QP, you make some very valid points. I've not checked that far back - but I assume you are correct and MARS share price in 2007 was 470p! Sad for anyone who has held since then. So to answer your question I expect that MARS is making a lot less profit today than it was 10 years ago. Hence the shareprice is a lot lower. It is also possible, indeed probable, that MARS is rated much lower today than a decade ago, perhaps in the expectation that profits will continue to fall. Probably a bit of both, less profit and lower rating = 100p shareprice today. The question is not what happened in the last decade - it's what will happen in the next decade. At least that is the basis upon which I invest. You are certainly correct about the macrotrends of online versus highstreet retailing and about the rate of closures of pubs. Though the next decade leading to all pubs being closed is about as likely as MARS shareprice falling by another 370p? But everything has a value - even if its a very low one? So after Amazon's meteoric shareprice rise and Marston's shareprice plummet which shareprice is closer the companies intrinsic value? It's interesting to note that Amazons profitability is actually quite low. It makes a 3% margin, 51bn sales and 1.6bn profit (Q1 2018) whereas Marston's has a 10% margin, 1080M sales 107M profit. Expectations of future profitability at Amazon are incredibly high the shareprice is 250 times current earnings - whereas Marstons is only 7. So Marstons is certainly valued very low - is it low enough? You are right about the rate of pub closures. But I think its very healthy, if only the restaurant sector had been shutting as many restaurants they might not be going bust quite so often! Over the last 6 years or so 60800 pubs in the UK have reduced by 10000, about an 18% decline? If Marstons is an average estate I'd expect to see a similar rate of decline of a few percent annually? So I've had a look and the answer is not simple. It appears that Marstons had an estate of around 2000 pubs a few years ago and now its 1568. But they sold 388 pubs for £144million and another 'portfolio' of 202 pubs. So as well as selling pubs they've also been opening pubs to end up with 1568 today. Of course selling pubs is about as good as closing them down if you don't get much cash for them. But I notice in the results to October 2014 they actually booked a surplus against the disposals of £37.5m ie they disposed of the pubs for more than their asset value on the books. That's a really key point. As well as a lowly rating on its profits and a reasonable margin it appears that Marstons pubs might actually be worth more disposed of than they are held on the balance sheet. So although pubs are shutting down - it appears that it might be because the pubs are worth more closed and sold on than operating as pubs? Not that I am promoting Marstons should sell off all its pubs and return the profits to shareholders, although others might do - but if they did so in an orderly fashion the likelihood is that I'd get back more than my shares are currently worth. (IMHO) The net asset value of the estate and the dividend cover make it likely that Martsons shareprice will not fall significantly in the future, so its a low risk investment for me - with a 7% return and the possibility of capital appreciation. I will leave my take on the new build pubs, lodges the 4000 room target and the breweries for another day. I think I will be reaching for the buy button again tomorrow, If you were hoping to convince me not to buy MARS then I am afraid you've been counterproductive QP - but thanks all the same, Cheers indeed, Illis
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