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Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Marstons LSE:MARS London Ordinary Share GB00B1JQDM80 ORD 7.375P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +1.25p +1.26% 100.20p 2,805,211 16:35:19
Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price
99.90p 100.20p 100.90p 99.30p 100.50p
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Travel & Leisure 992.20 100.30 14.20 7.1 635.2

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Date Time Title Posts
08/12/201808:50Marstons...time to buy???2,937
22/11/201817:02Marstons - Needs Shaking Up !1,138
21/7/201810:24Is there Life on MARS?91
16/8/201714:56Is the brewery purchase toxic. Was always a good plodder before?1
24/5/200815:48MARS - The Iceman Cometh3

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Marstons Daily Update: Marstons is listed in the Travel & Leisure sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker MARS. The last closing price for Marstons was 98.95p.
Marstons has a 4 week average price of 96.20p and a 12 week average price of 94.90p.
The 1 year high share price is 121.30p while the 1 year low share price is currently 89.20p.
There are currently 633,955,801 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 3,464,198 shares. The market capitalisation of Marstons is £635,223,712.60.
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
quepassa: ianood is a hopeless investor and an inveterate daydreaming ramper. for example this is a post of his two years ago on Marston's number 1799 dated November 2016 when the Marston's share price was 150p: "Hope that's true libertine, its what we have been looking to for some time now and could result in a re-rating of MARS." a re-rating indeed. Price today 92p. Since 2016 alone he has lost 40% of his money on Marston's and still ramping away. As with EasyJet, looks like he is uncannily accurate in picking and losing money on another share which has performed dismally.
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%!
illiswilgig: I am far from convinced that there is any quick fix or financial engineering that city whizz kids can apply to get Marstons share price motoring upwards. More likely to end up with it tanking downwards. Even faster. Though it might provide a quick spike for shareholders to exit - if they are quick enough - and others want to buy. Greene King is doing a great job of showing just how difficult it is right now to extract the benefits of mergers in a declining market with an oversupply of outlets and a fairly difficult economic outlook. That's not to say that Marston's won't succeed and the share price recover dramatically, just that it doesn't seem the most likely outcome to me at the moment. cheers
careful: hard to see why this is not higher. compare fundamentals to Wetherspoon. gearing ex tangibles lower at 70% vs 82% higher pre tax profit. an historic pe of 24 vs 7 for mars. yield 1% vs 7.75 for mars. A share price of 150p is more likely that 80p on the evidence we have. share price trends bring out the clowns. Just looking for a steady total return of around 5%pa here.
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
jeffian: Ref: #2624/5, whilst an exceptionally high dividend yield can indicate that the market thinks the div is unsustainably high and will be cut, it's a mistake to think the div is a function of the share price. It's a function of earnings. As Septimus Quaid says, as long as the div is well-covered, it doesn't make sense to cut the div just because the share price is being hammered. Many years ago, when Aviva were still called Norwich Union, the company announced that because the dividend yield was so high in comparison to their peer group, they were going to "re-base" (i.e. cut!) it to bring the yield into line with their competitors. They halved the divi.....and the market promptly halved their share price so the yield remained the same! Managements should focus on the things they can directly control - growing revenues, controlling costs, making profits and paying dividends - and let the share price look after itself.
Marstons share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange
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