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Merlin Entertainments

LSE:MERL
Snowflake Description

Acceptable track record with mediocre balance sheet.

The Snowflake is generated from 30 checks in 5 different areas, read more below.
MERL
LSE
£3B
Market Cap
  1. Home
  2. GB
  3. Consumer Services
Company description

Merlin Entertainments plc operates visitor attraction places worldwide. The last earnings update was 63 days ago. More info.


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MERL Share Price and Events
7 Day Returns
-8.8%
LSE:MERL
2.6%
GB Hospitality
1.5%
GB Market
1 Year Returns
-12.6%
LSE:MERL
-9.1%
GB Hospitality
-6.3%
GB Market
MERL Shareholder Return
  7 Day 30 Day 90 Day 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Merlin Entertainments (MERL) -8.8% -6.2% -8.8% -12.6% -19.7% -6.6%
GB Hospitality 2.6% -0.3% -2.5% -9.1% 9.8% 29.5%
GB Market 1.5% -2.1% 1.8% -6.3% 15.4% 2%
1 Year Return vs Industry and Market
  • MERL underperformed the Hospitality industry which returned -9.1% over the past year.
  • MERL underperformed the Market in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which returned -6.3% over the past year.
Price Volatility
MERL
Industry
5yr Volatility vs Market

Value

 Is Merlin Entertainments undervalued based on future cash flows and its price relative to the stock market?

Value is all about what a company is worth versus what price it is available for. If you went into a grocery store and all the bananas were on sale at half price, they could be considered undervalued.
INTRINSIC VALUE BASED ON FUTURE CASH FLOWS
Here we compare the current share price of Merlin Entertainments to its discounted cash flow analysis.value.

The discounted cash flow value is simply looking at what the company is worth today, based on estimates of how much money it is expected to make in the future.
Raw Data

Below are the data sources, inputs and calculation used to determine the intrinsic value for Merlin Entertainments.

LSE:MERL Discounted Cash Flow Data Sources
Data Point Source Value
Valuation Model 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity
Levered Free Cash Flow Average of 10 Analyst Estimates (S&P Global) See below
Discount Rate (Cost of Equity) See below 8.8%
Perpetual Growth Rate 10-Year GB Government Bond Rate 1.2%

An important part of a discounted cash flow is the discount rate, below we explain how it has been calculated.

Calculation of Discount Rate/ Cost of Equity for LSE:MERL
Data Point Calculation/ Source Result
Risk-Free Rate 10-Year GB Govt Bond Rate 1.2%
Equity Risk Premium S&P Global 6.7%
Hospitality Unlevered Beta Simply Wall St/ S&P Global 0.93
Re-levered Beta = Unlevered beta (1 + (1- tax rate) (Debt/Equity))
= 0.932 (1 + (1- 19%) (37.64%))
1.144
Levered Beta Levered Beta limited to 0.8 to 2.0
(practical range for a stable firm)
1.14
Discount Rate/ Cost of Equity = Cost of Equity = Risk Free Rate + (Levered Beta * Equity Risk Premium)
= 1.23% + (1.144 * 6.65%)
8.84%

Discounted Cash Flow Calculation for LSE:MERL using 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity Model

The calculations below outline how an intrinsic value for Merlin Entertainments is arrived at by discounting future cash flows to their present value using the 2 stage method. We try to start with analysts estimates of free cash flow, however if these are not available we use the most recent financial results. In the 1st stage we continue to grow the free cash flow over a 10 year period, with the growth rate trending towards the perpetual growth rate used in the 2nd stage. The 2nd stage assumes the company grows at a stable rate into perpetuity.

LSE:MERL DCF 1st Stage: Next 10 year cash flow forecast
Levered FCF (GBP, Millions) Source Present Value
Discounted (@ 8.84%)
2019 -14.42 Analyst x2 -13.25
2020 45.20 Analyst x3 38.15
2021 98.43 Analyst x2 76.35
2022 171.70 Analyst x1 122.37
2023 201.10 Analyst x1 131.68
2024 224.06 Est @ 11.42% 134.80
2025 242.79 Est @ 8.36% 134.21
2026 257.89 Est @ 6.22% 130.98
2027 270.07 Est @ 4.72% 126.03
2028 279.99 Est @ 3.67% 120.05
Present value of next 10 years cash flows £1,001.36
LSE:MERL DCF 2nd Stage: Terminal Value
Calculation Result
Terminal Value = FCF2028 × (1 + g) ÷ (Discount Rate – g)
= £279.99 × (1 + 1.23%) ÷ (8.84% – 1.23%)
£3,724.13
Present Value of Terminal Value = Terminal Value ÷ (1 + r)10
= £3,724.13 ÷ (1 + 8.84%)10
£1,596.77
LSE:MERL Total Equity Value
Calculation Result
Total Equity Value = Present value of next 10 years cash flows + Terminal Value
= £1,001.36 + £1,596.77
£2,598.13
Equity Value per Share
(GBP)
= Total value / Shares Outstanding
= £2,598.13 / 1,022.94
£2.54
LSE:MERL Discount to Share Price
Calculation Result
Value per share (GBP) From above. £2.54
Current discount Discount to share price of £3.38
= -1 x (£3.38 - £2.54) / £2.54
-32.9%

Learn more about our DCF calculations in Simply Wall St’s analysis model .

  • The current share price of Merlin Entertainments is above its future cash flow value.
Often investors are willing to pay a premium for a company that has a high dividend or the potential for future growth.
PRICE RELATIVE TO MARKET
We can also value a company based on what the stock market is willing to pay for it. This is similar to the price of fruit (e.g. Mangoes or Avocados) increasing when they are out of season, or how much your home is worth.

The amount the stock market is willing to pay for Merlin Entertainments's earnings, growth and assets is considered below, and whether this is a fair price.
Price based on past earnings
Are Merlin Entertainments's earnings available for a low price, and how does this compare to other companies in the same industry?
Raw Data
LSE:MERL PE (Price to Earnings) Ratio Data Sources
Data Point Source Value
Earnings Per Share * Company Filings (2018-12-29) in GBP £0.23
LSE:MERL Share Price ** LSE (2019-05-21) in GBP £3.38
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Hospitality Industry PE Ratio Median Figure of 34 Publicly-Listed Hospitality Companies 17.83x
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Market PE Ratio Median Figure of 789 Publicly-Listed Companies 16.22x

* Trailing twelve months (TTM) annual GAAP earnings per share excluding extraordinary items.

** Primary Listing of Merlin Entertainments.

LSE:MERL PE (Price to Earnings) Ratio Calculation
Calculation Outcome
PE Ratio

= LSE:MERL Share Price ÷ EPS (both in GBP)

= 3.38 ÷ 0.23

14.99x

Learn more about our ratios and growth rates in Simply Wall St’s analysis model >

  • Merlin Entertainments is good value based on earnings compared to the GB Hospitality industry average.
  • Merlin Entertainments is good value based on earnings compared to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland market.
Price based on expected Growth
Does Merlin Entertainments's expected growth come at a high price?
Raw Data
LSE:MERL PEG (Price to Earnings to Growth) Ratio Data Sources
Data Point Source Value
PE Ratio See PE Ratio Section 14.99x
Net Income Annual Growth Rate See Future Growth Section.
Line of Best Fit* through Consensus Estimate Earnings of 10 Analysts
5.1%per year
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Hospitality Industry PEG Ratio Median Figure of 28 Publicly-Listed Hospitality Companies 2.02x
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Market PEG Ratio Median Figure of 575 Publicly-Listed Companies 1.5x

*Line of best fit is calculated by linear regression .

LSE:MERL PEG (Price to Earnings to Growth) Ratio Calculation
Calculation Outcome
PEG Ratio

= PE Ratio ÷ Net Income Annual Growth Rate

= 14.99x ÷ 5.1%

2.96x

Learn more about our ratios and growth rates in Simply Wall St’s analysis model >

  • Merlin Entertainments is poor value based on expected growth next year.
Price based on value of assets
What value do investors place on Merlin Entertainments's assets?
Raw Data
LSE:MERL PB (Price to Book) Ratio Data Sources
Data Point Source Value
Book Value per Share Company Filings (2018-12-29) in GBP £1.70
LSE:MERL Share Price * LSE (2019-05-21) in GBP £3.38
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Hospitality Industry PB Ratio Median Figure of 54 Publicly-Listed Hospitality Companies 1.4x
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Market PB Ratio Median Figure of 1,368 Publicly-Listed Companies 1.5x
LSE:MERL PB (Price to Book) Ratio Calculation
Calculation Outcome
PB Ratio

= LSE:MERL Share Price ÷ Book Value per Share (both in GBP)

= 3.38 ÷ 1.70

1.98x

* Primary Listing of Merlin Entertainments.

Learn more about our ratios and growth rates in Simply Wall St’s analysis model >

  • Merlin Entertainments is overvalued based on assets compared to the GB Hospitality industry average.
X
Value checks
We assess Merlin Entertainments's value by looking at:
  1. Is the discounted cash flow value less than 20%, or 40% of the share price? (2 checks) ( Click here or on bar chart for details of DCF calculation. )
  2. Is the PE ratio less than the market average, and/ or less than the Hospitality industry average (and greater than 0)? (2 checks)
  3. Is the PEG ratio within a reasonable range (0 to 1)? (1 check)
  4. Is the PB ratio less than the Hospitality industry average (and greater than 0)? (1 check)
  5. Merlin Entertainments has a total score of 2/6, see the detailed checks below.

    Note: We use GAAP Earnings per Share in all our calculations including PE and PEG Ratio.

    Full details on the Value part of the Simply Wall St company analysis model.

Future Performance

 How is Merlin Entertainments expected to perform in the next 1 to 3 years based on estimates from 10 analysts?

The future performance of a company is measured in the same way as past performance, by looking at estimated growth and how much profit it is expected to make.

Future estimates come from professional analysts. Just like forecasting the weather, they don’t always get it right!
Annual Growth Rate
5.1%
Expected annual growth in earnings.
Earnings growth vs Low Risk Savings
Is Merlin Entertainments expected to grow at an attractive rate?
  • Merlin Entertainments's earnings growth is expected to exceed the low risk savings rate of 1.2%.
Growth vs Market Checks
  • Merlin Entertainments's earnings growth is positive but not above the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland market average.
  • Merlin Entertainments's revenue growth is expected to exceed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland market average.
Annual Growth Rates Comparison
Raw Data
LSE:MERL Future Growth Rates Data Sources
Data Point Source Value (per year)
LSE:MERL Future Earnings Growth Rate Line of Best Fit* through Consensus Estimate Earnings of 10 Analysts 5.1%
LSE:MERL Future Revenue Growth Rate Line of Best Fit* through Consensus Estimate Revenue of 10 Analysts 5.7%
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Hospitality Industry Earnings Growth Rate Market Cap Weighted Average 12.1%
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Hospitality Industry Revenue Growth Rate Market Cap Weighted Average 5.8%
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Market Earnings Growth Rate Market Cap Weighted Average 11%
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Market Revenue Growth Rate Market Cap Weighted Average 5%

*Line of best fit is calculated by linear regression .

Industry and Market average data is calculated daily.

Learn more about our growth rate calculations in Simply Wall St’s analysis model.

Analysts growth expectations
Raw Data
LSE:MERL Analysts Growth Expectations Data Sources
Data Point Source Value
Past Financials Company Filings (4 months ago) See Below
Future Estimates Average of up to 10 Analyst Estimates (S&P Global) See Below
All numbers in GBP Millions and using Trailing twelve months (TTM) annual period rather than quarterly.
LSE:MERL Future Estimates Data
Date (Data in GBP Millions) Revenue Cash Flow Net Income * Avg. No. Analysts
2023-12-31 2,208 535 293 2
2022-12-31 2,131 510 278 3
2021-12-31 2,013 482 231 8
2020-12-31 1,888 454 209 10
2019-12-31 1,740 392 188 9
2018-12-31 1,669 408 206 11
LSE:MERL Past Financials Data
Date (Data in GBP Millions) Revenue Cash Flow Net Income *
2018-12-29 1,688 450 230
2018-09-29 1,653 441 218
2018-06-30 1,618 432 205
2018-03-31 1,606 423 207
2017-12-30 1,594 413 209
2017-09-30 1,582 439 210
2017-07-01 1,569 464 211
2017-04-01 1,513 449 211
2016-12-31 1,457 433 211
2016-09-30 1,382 397 197
2016-06-25 1,307 361 182
2016-03-25 1,293 343 176

*GAAP earnings excluding extraordinary items.

Super high growth metrics
High Growth Checks
  • Merlin Entertainments's earnings are expected to grow by 5.1% yearly, however this is not considered high growth (20% yearly).
  • Merlin Entertainments's revenue is expected to grow by 5.7% yearly, however this is not considered high growth (20% yearly).
Past and Future Earnings per Share
The accuracy of the analysts who estimate the future performance data can be gauged below. We look back 3 years and see if they were any good at predicting what actually occurred. We also show the highest and lowest estimates looking forward to see if there is a wide range.
Raw Data
LSE:MERL Past and Future Earnings per Share
Data Point Source Value
Past Financials Company Filings (4 months ago) See Below
Future Estimates Average of up to 10 Analyst Estimates (S&P Global) See Below

All data from Merlin Entertainments Company Filings, last reported 4 months ago, and in Trailing twelve months (TTM) annual period rather than quarterly.

LSE:MERL Future Estimates Data
Date (Data in GBP Millions) EPS * EPS High Estimate EPS Low Estimate Avg. No. Analysts
2023-12-31 0.29 0.29 0.29 1.00
2022-12-31 0.27 0.27 0.27 1.00
2021-12-31 0.23 0.24 0.21 3.00
2020-12-31 0.20 0.21 0.20 3.00
2019-12-31 0.18 0.19 0.17 4.00
2018-12-31 0.20 0.21 0.20 5.00
LSE:MERL Past Financials Data
Date (Data in GBP Millions) EPS *
2018-12-29 0.23
2018-09-29 0.21
2018-06-30 0.20
2018-03-31 0.20
2017-12-30 0.21
2017-09-30 0.21
2017-07-01 0.21
2017-04-01 0.21
2016-12-31 0.21
2016-09-30 0.19
2016-06-25 0.18
2016-03-25 0.17

*GAAP earnings excluding extraordinary items.

Performance in 3 years
In the same way as past performance we look at the future estimated return (profit) compared to the available funds. We do this looking forward 3 years.
  • Merlin Entertainments is not expected to efficiently use shareholders’ funds in the future (Return on Equity less than 20%).
X
Future performance checks
We assess Merlin Entertainments's future performance by looking at:
  1. Is the annual earnings growth rate expected to beat the low risk savings rate, plus a premium to keep pace with inflation?
  2. Is the annual earnings growth rate expected to beat the average growth rate in earnings of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland market? (1 check)
  3. Is the annual revenue growth rate expected to beat the average growth rate in revenue of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland market? (1 check)
  4. Is the annual earnings growth rate expected to be above 20%? (1 check)
  5. Is the annual revenue growth rate expected to be above 20%? (1 check)
  6. Is the Return on Equity in 3 years expected to be over 20%? (1 check)
Some of the above checks will fail if the company is expected to be loss making in the relevant year.
Merlin Entertainments has a total score of 2/6, see the detailed checks below.

Note 1: We use GAAP Net Income Excluding Exceptional Items for our Earnings in all our calculations.

Full details on the Future part of the Simply Wall St company analysis model.

Past Performance

  How has Merlin Entertainments performed over the past 5 years?

The past performance of a company can be measured by how much growth it has experienced and how much profit it makes relative to the funds and assets it has available.
Past earnings growth
Below we compare Merlin Entertainments's growth in the last year to its industry (Hospitality).
Past Earnings growth analysis
We also check if the company has grown in the past 5 years, and whether it has maintained that growth in the year.
  • Merlin Entertainments's year on year earnings growth rate has been positive over the past 5 years.
  • Merlin Entertainments's 1-year earnings growth exceeds its 5-year average (10% vs 7.9%)
  • Merlin Entertainments's earnings growth has not exceeded the GB Hospitality industry average in the past year (10% vs 12.8%).
Earnings and Revenue History
Merlin Entertainments's revenue and profit over the past 5 years is shown below, any years where they have experienced a loss will show up in red.
Raw Data

All data from Merlin Entertainments Company Filings, last reported 4 months ago, and in Trailing twelve months (TTM) annual period rather than quarterly.

LSE:MERL Past Revenue, Cash Flow and Net Income Data
Date (Data in GBP Millions) Revenue Net Income * G+A Expenses R&D Expenses
2018-12-29 1,688.00 230.00 637.00
2018-09-29 1,653.00 217.50 624.50
2018-06-30 1,618.00 205.00 612.00
2018-03-31 1,606.00 207.00 610.50
2017-12-30 1,594.00 209.00 609.00
2017-09-30 1,581.50 210.00 603.00
2017-07-01 1,569.00 211.00 597.00
2017-04-01 1,513.00 211.00 573.50
2016-12-31 1,457.00 211.00 550.00
2016-09-30 1,382.00 196.50 526.50
2016-06-25 1,307.00 182.00 503.00
2016-03-25 1,292.50 176.00 492.50
2015-12-26 1,278.00 170.00 482.00
2015-09-26 1,279.00 164.00 477.50
2015-06-27 1,280.00 158.00 473.00
2015-03-27 1,264.50 160.00 465.00
2014-12-27 1,249.00 162.00 457.00
2014-09-27 1,235.50 169.00 490.50
2014-06-28 1,222.00 176.00 524.00
2014-03-28 1,207.00 160.50 482.00
2013-12-28 1,192.00 145.00 440.00
2013-09-28 1,152.00 110.00 323.00
2013-06-29 1,112.00 75.00 206.00
2013-03-29 1,093.00 75.50 233.50
2012-12-29 1,074.00 76.00 261.00

*GAAP earnings excluding extraordinary items.

Performance last year
We want to ensure a company is making the most of what it has available. This is done by comparing the return (profit) to a company's available funds, assets and capital.
  • Merlin Entertainments has not efficiently used shareholders’ funds last year (Return on Equity less than 20%).
  • Merlin Entertainments used its assets more efficiently than the GB Hospitality industry average last year based on Return on Assets.
  • Merlin Entertainments's use of capital deteriorated last year versus 3 years ago (Return on Capital Employed).
X
Past performance checks
We assess Merlin Entertainments's performance over the past 5 years by checking for:
  1. Has earnings increased in past 5 years? (1 check)
  2. Has the earnings growth in the last year exceeded that of the Hospitality industry? (1 check)
  3. Is the recent earnings growth over the last year higher than the average annual growth over the past 5 years? (1 check)
  4. Is the Return on Equity (ROE) higher than 20%? (1 check)
  5. Is the Return on Assets (ROA) above industry average? (1 check)
  6. Has the Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) increased from 3 years ago? (1 check)
The above checks will fail if the company has reported a loss in the most recent earnings report. Some checks require at least 3 or 5 years worth of data.
Merlin Entertainments has a total score of 3/6, see the detailed checks below.

Note: We use GAAP Net Income excluding extraordinary items in all our calculations.

Full details on the Past part of the Simply Wall St company analysis model.

Health

 How is Merlin Entertainments's financial health and their level of debt?

A company's financial position is much like your own financial position, it includes everything you own (assets) and owe (liabilities).

The boxes below represent the relative size of what makes up Merlin Entertainments's finances.

The net worth of a company is the difference between its assets and liabilities.
Net Worth
  • Merlin Entertainments's short term (1 year) commitments are greater than its holdings of cash and other short term assets.
  • Merlin Entertainments's long term commitments exceed its cash and other short term assets.
Balance sheet
This treemap shows a more detailed breakdown of Merlin Entertainments's finances. If any of them are yellow this indicates they may be out of proportion and red means they relate to one of the checks below.
Assets
Liabilities and shares
The 'shares' portion represents any funds contributed by the owners (shareholders) and any profits.
  • High level of physical assets or inventory.
  • Debt is not covered by short term assets, assets are 0.2x debt.
Historical Debt
Nearly all companies have debt. Debt in itself isn’t bad, however if the debt is too high, or the company can’t afford to pay the interest on its debts this may have impacts in the future.

The graphic below shows equity (available funds) and debt, we ideally want to see the red area (debt) decreasing.

If there is any debt we look at the companies capability to repay it, and whether the level has increased over the past 5 years.
Raw Data

All data from Merlin Entertainments Company Filings, last reported 4 months ago.

LSE:MERL Past Debt and Equity Data
Date (Data in GBP Millions) Total Equity Total Debt Cash & Short Term Investments
2018-12-29 1,744.00 1,300.00 110.00
2018-09-29 1,744.00 1,300.00 110.00
2018-06-30 1,553.00 1,352.00 117.00
2018-03-31 1,553.00 1,352.00 117.00
2017-12-30 1,567.00 1,469.00 309.00
2017-09-30 1,567.00 1,469.00 309.00
2017-07-01 1,423.00 1,486.00 250.00
2017-04-01 1,423.00 1,486.00 250.00
2016-12-31 1,428.00 1,240.00 215.00
2016-09-30 1,428.00 1,240.00 215.00
2016-06-25 1,212.00 1,173.00 101.00
2016-03-25 1,212.00 1,173.00 101.00
2015-12-26 1,149.00 1,089.00 152.00
2015-09-26 1,149.00 1,089.00 152.00
2015-06-27 1,018.00 1,057.00 68.00
2015-03-27 1,018.00 1,057.00 68.00
2014-12-27 1,063.00 1,220.00 285.00
2014-09-27 1,063.00 1,220.00 285.00
2014-06-28 960.00 1,256.00 272.00
2014-03-28 960.00 1,256.00 272.00
2013-12-28 944.00 1,279.00 269.00
2013-09-28 944.00 1,279.00 269.00
2013-06-29 640.00 1,502.00 148.00
2013-03-29 640.00 1,502.00 148.00
2012-12-29 617.00 1,484.00 142.00
  • Merlin Entertainments's level of debt (74.5%) compared to net worth is high (greater than 40%).
  • The level of debt compared to net worth has been reduced over the past 5 years (135.4% vs 74.5% today).
  • Debt is well covered by operating cash flow (34.6%, greater than 20% of total debt).
  • Interest payments on debt are well covered by earnings (EBIT is 7x coverage).
X
Financial health checks
We assess Merlin Entertainments's financial health by checking for:
  1. Are short term assets greater than short term liabilities? (1 check)
  2. Are short term assets greater than long term liabilities? (1 check)
  3. Has the debt to equity ratio increased in the past 5 years? (1 check)
  4. Is the debt to equity ratio over 40%? (1 check)
  5. Is the debt covered by operating cash flow? (1 check)
  6. Are earnings greater than 5x the interest on debt (if company pays interest at all)? (1 check)
  7. Merlin Entertainments has a total score of 3/6, see the detailed checks below.
For companies that are loss making and have been so on average in the past we replace the last 2 checks with:
  1. Does cash and short term investments cover stable operating expenses (recurring G&A and R&D) for more than 3 years? (1 check)
  2. Does cash and short term investments cover growing operating expenses (recurring G&A and R&D) for more than 3 years? (1 check)


Full details on the Health part of the Simply Wall St company analysis model.

Dividends

 What is Merlin Entertainments's current dividend yield, its reliability and sustainability?

Dividends are regular cash payments to you from the company, similar to a bank paying you interest on a savings account.
Annual Dividend Income
Dividend payments
2.37%
Current annual income from Merlin Entertainments dividends. Estimated to be 2.55% next year.
If you bought £2,000 of Merlin Entertainments shares you are expected to receive £47 in your first year as a dividend.
Dividend Amount
Here we look how much dividend is being paid, if any. Is it above what you can get in a savings account? It is up there with the best dividend paying companies?
  • Merlin Entertainments's pays a higher dividend yield than the bottom 25% of dividend payers in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2%).
  • Merlin Entertainments's dividend is below the markets top 25% of dividend payers in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (5.27%).
Annualized Historical and Future Dividends
It is important to see if the dividend for a company is stable, and not wildly increasing/decreasing each year. This graph shows you the historical rate to count toward your assessment of the stock.

We also check to see if the dividend has increased in the past 10 years.
Raw Data
LSE:MERL Annualized Past and Future Dividends
Data Point Source Value
Past Annualized Dividend Yield S&P Global Market Data See Below
Past Dividends per Share Company Filings/ Annualized Dividend Payments See Below
Future Dividends per Share Estimates Average of up to 10 Analyst Estimates (S&P Global) See Below
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Hospitality Industry Average Dividend Yield Market Cap Weighted Average of 32 Stocks 3.2%
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Market Average Dividend Yield Market Cap Weighted Average of 705 Stocks 4.3%
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Minimum Threshold Dividend Yield 10th Percentile 1%
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Bottom 25% Dividend Yield 25th Percentile 2%
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Top 25% Dividend Yield 75th Percentile 5.3%

Industry and Market average data is calculated daily.

Note all dividend per share amounts are annualized and not quarterly or other period.

LSE:MERL Future Dividends Estimate Data
Date (Data in £) Dividend per Share (annual) Avg. No. Analysts
2023-12-31 0.12 1.00
2022-12-31 0.12 1.00
2021-12-31 0.09 8.00
2020-12-31 0.09 12.00
2019-12-31 0.08 13.00
2018-12-31 0.07 12.00
LSE:MERL Past Annualized Dividends Data
Date (Data in £) Dividend per share (annual) Avg. Yield (%)
2019-03-19 0.080 2.250
2019-02-28 0.080 2.201
2018-04-30 0.074 2.052
2017-04-28 0.071 1.763
2017-03-02 0.071 1.468
2016-05-20 0.065 1.423
2015-04-14 0.062 1.467
2015-02-26 0.062 1.422
2014-07-31 0.040 1.090

Learn more about our ratios and growth rates in Simply Wall St’s analysis model >

  • Whilst dividend payments have been stable, Merlin Entertainments has been paying a dividend for less than 10 years.
  • Dividend payments have increased, but Merlin Entertainments only paid a dividend in the past 5 years.
Current Payout to shareholders
What portion of Merlin Entertainments's earnings are paid to the shareholders as a dividend.
  • Dividends paid are well covered by earnings (2.8x coverage).
Future Payout to shareholders
  • Dividends after 3 years are expected to be well covered by earnings (2.7x coverage).
X
Income/ dividend checks
We assess Merlin Entertainments's dividend by checking for:
  1. Firstly is the company paying a notable dividend (greater than 1%) - if not then the rest of the checks are ignored.
  2. Is current dividend yield above the bottom 25% of dividend payers? (1 check)
  3. Is current dividend yield above the top 25% of dividend payers? (1 check)
  4. Have they paid a dividend for 10 years, and during this period has the dividend been volatile (drop of more than 25%)? (1 check)
  5. If they have paid a dividend for 10 years has it increased in this time? (1 check)
  6. How sustainable is the dividend, can Merlin Entertainments afford to pay it from its earnings today and in 3 years (Payout ratio less than 90%)? (2 checks)
  7. Merlin Entertainments has a total score of 3/6, see the detailed checks below.


Full details on the Dividends part of the Simply Wall St company analysis model.

Management

 What is the CEO of Merlin Entertainments's salary, the management and board of directors tenure and is there insider trading?

Management is one of the most important areas of a company. We look at unreasonable CEO compensation, how long the team and board of directors have been around for and insider trading.
CEO
Nick Varney
COMPENSATION £1,493,000
AGE 55
TENURE AS CEO 20.3 years
CEO Bio

Mr. Nicholas John Varney, also known as Nick, has been the Group Chief Executive Officer of Merlin Entertainments plc since 1999. Mr. Varney has been the Chief Executive Officer of Merlin Entertainments Group Limited since October 21, 2013. He started his career in consumer goods marketing, working for Nestle Rowntree and Reckitt & Colman PLC. In 1991, he joined Alton Towers as Marketing Director and served as Head of Group Marketing for the Tussauds Group, overseeing the launch of Port Aventura in Spain. He oversaw the launch of Port Aventura in Spain and set new strategies for the Madame Tussauds business in London and Amsterdam. During his 3 years at the park he transformed its marketing and contributed to three record seasons in succession. Mr. Varney joined Vardon Attractions in 1995 as Managing Director and has since overseen the exciting development of the Dungeon brand and its move into the German market. He served as the Chairman of Merlin Entertainments Group Ltd. and Merlin Entertainments plc. He serves as a Director of Merlin Entertainments Group Limited. He serves as a Director of Charcoal Newco 1 Limited. He served as a Director at Merlin Entertainments Plc., since October 20. 2013. He served as Director at Charcoal Newco 1A Ltd. until October 3, 2014. He served as a Director of Vardon PLC Board in 1997. His Skills and experience With over 25 years in the visitor attractions industry. He is Chairman of the British Hospitality Association. Mr. Varney is a graduate of the London School of Economics.

CEO Compensation
  • Nick's compensation has increased by more than 20% in the past year whilst earnings grew less than 20%.
  • Nick's remuneration is about average for companies of similar size in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Management Team Tenure

Average tenure and age of the Merlin Entertainments management team in years:

3.9
Average Tenure
52
Average Age
  • The tenure for the Merlin Entertainments management team is about average.
Management Team

Nick Varney

TITLE
Group CEO
COMPENSATION
£1M
AGE
55
TENURE
20.3 yrs

Anne-Francoise Michele Rankine

TITLE
CFO & Executive Director
COMPENSATION
£934K
AGE
46
TENURE
2.8 yrs

Mark Fisher

TITLE
Chief Development Officer & Member of Executive Board
AGE
54

John Jakobsen

TITLE
Chief New Openings Officer and Member of Executive Board
AGE
55
TENURE
3.9 yrs

Nick Mackenzie

TITLE
Managing Director of Midway Attractions and Member of Executive Board
AGE
50
TENURE
3.9 yrs

Mark Allsop

TITLE
Chief Digital Marketing & Information Officer and Member of Executive Board
AGE
45

Hans Pedersen

TITLE
Managing Director of LEGOLAND Parks and Member of Executive Board
TENURE
3.9 yrs

Justin Platt

TITLE
Chief Strategy Officer & Member of Executive Board

Matt Jowett

TITLE
General Counsel
TENURE
3.3 yrs

Natalie Bickford

TITLE
Group HR Director & Member of Executive Board
TENURE
3.1 yrs
Board of Directors Tenure

Average tenure and age of the Merlin Entertainments board of directors in years:

5.1
Average Tenure
54
Average Age
  • The tenure for the Merlin Entertainments board of directors is about average.
Board of Directors

John Sunderland

TITLE
Non-Executive Chairman
COMPENSATION
£506K
AGE
73
TENURE
9.4 yrs

Nick Varney

TITLE
Group CEO
COMPENSATION
£1M
AGE
55
TENURE
5.6 yrs

Anne-Francoise Michele Rankine

TITLE
CFO & Executive Director
COMPENSATION
£934K
AGE
46
TENURE
2.8 yrs

Charles Gurassa

TITLE
Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
COMPENSATION
£142K
AGE
62
TENURE
5.7 yrs

Trudy Rautio

TITLE
Independent Non-Executive Director
COMPENSATION
£116K
AGE
66
TENURE
3.6 yrs

Søren Sørensen

TITLE
Non-Executive Director
AGE
53
TENURE
5.6 yrs

Fru Hazlitt

TITLE
Independent Non-Executive Director
COMPENSATION
£102K
AGE
54
TENURE
5.1 yrs

Rachel Chiang

TITLE
Independent Non-Executive Director
COMPENSATION
£102K
AGE
50
TENURE
3.3 yrs

Andrew Fisher

TITLE
Independent Non-executive Director
COMPENSATION
£50K
AGE
48
TENURE
0.8 yrs
Who owns this company?
Recent Insider Trading
  • No 3 month insider trading information.
Recent Insider Transactions
Announced Type Name Entity Role Start End Shares Max Price (£) Value (£)
21. Sep 18 Sell John Jakobsen Individual 20. Sep 18 20. Sep 18 -160,000 £3.87 £-619,216
07. Aug 18 Sell Fraser Montgomery Individual 03. Aug 18 03. Aug 18 -19,972 £3.79 £-75,702
X
Management checks
We assess Merlin Entertainments's management by checking for:
  1. Is the CEO's compensation unreasonable compared to market cap? (1 check)
  2. Has the CEO's compensation increased more than 20% whilst the EPS is down more then 20%? (1 check)
  3. Is the average tenure of the management team less than 2 years? (1 check)
  4. Is the average tenure of the board of directors team less than 3 years? (1 check)
  5. Merlin Entertainments has a total score of 0/6, this is not included on the snowflake, see the detailed checks below.


Note: We use the top 6 management executives and board members in our calculations.

Note 2: Insider trading include any internal stakeholders and these transactions .

Full details on the Management part of the Simply Wall St company analysis model.

News

Simply Wall St News

Is Merlin Entertainments plc (LON:MERL) Creating Value For Shareholders?

Analysts use this formula to calculate return on capital employed: Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities) Or for Merlin Entertainments: 0.098 = UK£327m ÷ (UK£3.8b - UK£416m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.) So, Merlin Entertainments has an ROCE of 9.8%. … Merlin Entertainments's Current Liabilities And Their Impact On Its ROCE Current liabilities include invoices, such as supplier payments, short-term debt, or a tax bill, that need to be paid within 12 months. … Due to the way ROCE is calculated, a high level of current liabilities makes a company look as though it has less capital employed, and thus can (sometimes unfairly) boost the ROCE.

Simply Wall St -

Merlin Entertainments plc (LON:MERL): Poised For Long-Term Success?

Want to participate in a short research study? … Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card! … Merlin Entertainments plc's (LON:MERL) latest earnings update in December 2018a

Simply Wall St -

Has Merlin Entertainments plc (LON:MERL) Improved Earnings Growth In Recent Times?

Analyzing Merlin Entertainments plc's (LON:MERL) track record of past performance is a valuable exercise for investors. … Today I will assess MERL's recent performance announced on 29 December 2018 and compare these figures to its long-term trend and industry movements. … Commentary On MERL's Past Performance.

Simply Wall St -

Should You Be Adding Merlin Entertainments (LON:MERL) To Your Watchlist Today?

How Quickly Is Merlin Entertainments Increasing Earnings Per Share. … Merlin Entertainments maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 5.9% to UK£1.7b. … In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time.

Simply Wall St -

Income Investors Should Know The Merlin Entertainments plc (LON:MERL) Ex-Dividend Date

If you are interested in cashing in on Merlin Entertainments plc's (LON:MERL) upcoming dividend of UK£0.055 per share, you only have 4 days left to buy the shares before its ex-dividend date, 11 April 2019, in time for dividends payable on the 16 May 2019. … Below, I will explain how holding Merlin Entertainments can impact your portfolio income stream, by analysing the stock's most recent financial data and dividend attributes. … Whenever I am looking at a potential dividend stock investment, I always check these five metrics:?

Simply Wall St -

Should You Be Worried About Insider Transactions At Merlin Entertainments plc (LON:MERL)?

So before you buy or sell Merlin Entertainments plc (LON:MERL), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling. … The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Merlin Entertainments. … Over the last year we saw more insider selling of Merlin Entertainments shares, than buying

Simply Wall St -

Is Merlin Entertainments plc's (LON:MERL) ROE Of 13% Impressive?

Merlin Entertainments has a ROE of 13%, based on the last twelve months. … One way to conceptualize this, is that for each £1 of shareholders' equity it has, the company made £0.13 in profit. … Return on Equity = Net Profit ÷ Shareholders' Equity

Simply Wall St -

Volatility 101: Should Merlin Entertainments (LON:MERL) Shares Have Dropped 17%?

Merlin Entertainments plc (LON:MERL) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 11% in the last quarter. … In fact, the share price is down 17% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return. … During the unfortunate three years of share price decline, Merlin Entertainments actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 10% per year.

Simply Wall St -

How Does Merlin Entertainments plc (LON:MERL) Fare As A Dividend Stock?

Historically, Merlin Entertainments plc (LON:MERL) has been paying a dividend to shareholders. … Let's take a look at Merlin Entertainments in more detail. … See our latest analysis for Merlin Entertainments

Simply Wall St -

Is Merlin Entertainments plc's (LON:MERL) Balance Sheet Strong Enough To Weather A Storm?

Small-caps and large-caps are wildly popular among investors; however, mid-cap stocks, such as Merlin Entertainments plc (LON:MERL) with a market-capitalization of UK£3.6b, rarely draw their attention. … Today we will look at MERL’s financial liquidity and debt levels, which are strong indicators for whether the company can weather economic downturns or fund strategic acquisitions for future growth. … See our latest analysis for Merlin Entertainments

Simply Wall St -

Company Info

Description

Merlin Entertainments plc operates visitor attraction places worldwide. The company operates midway attractions under the Madame Tussauds, The Eye Brand, SEA LIFE, The Dungeons, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Seal Sanctuaries, Shreks Adventure, Blackpool Tower, WILD LIFE, Australian Treetop Adventures, Hotham Alpine Resort, Falls Creek, and Little BIG City brands. It also operates resort theme parks under the Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, Gardaland, Heide Park, THORPE PARK Resort, and Warwick Castle brands; and LEGOLAND parks under the LEGOLAND Billund, LEGOLAND Windsor, LEGOLAND California, LEGOLAND Deutschland, LEGOLAND Florida, LEGOLAND Malaysia, LEGOLAND Dubai, and LEGOLAND Japan brands. The company operates approximately 120 attractions, 18 hotels, and 6 holiday villages in 25 countries and across 4 continents. Merlin Entertainments plc was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Poole, the United Kingdom.

Details
Name: Merlin Entertainments plc
MERL
Exchange: LSE
Founded: 1999
£3,453,431,304
1,022,935,813
Website: http://www.merlinentertainments.biz
Address: Merlin Entertainments plc
Link House,
25 West Street,
Poole,
Dorset, BH15 1LD,
United Kingdom
Listings
Exchange Symbol Ticker Symbol Security Exchange Country Currency Listed on
LSE MERL Ordinary Shares London Stock Exchange GB GBP 08. Nov 2013
OTCPK MIIN.F Ordinary Shares Pink Sheets LLC US USD 08. Nov 2013
DB M59 Ordinary Shares Deutsche Boerse AG DE EUR 08. Nov 2013
BATS-CHIXE MERLL Ordinary Shares BATS 'Chi-X Europe' GB GBP 08. Nov 2013
OTCPK MERL.Y ADR Pink Sheets LLC US USD 13. Feb 2014
Number of employees
Current staff
Staff numbers
28,000
Merlin Entertainments employees.
Industry
Leisure Facilities
Consumer Services
Company Analysis and Financial Data Status
Area Date (UTC time)
Company Analysis updated: 2019/05/21 22:09
End of day share price update: 2019/05/21 00:00
Last estimates confirmation: 2019/05/21
Last earnings filing: 2019/03/19
Last earnings reported: 2018/12/29
Last annual earnings reported: 2018/12/29


All dates and times in UTC. All financial data provided by Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ.

Unless specified all financial data is based on a yearly period but updated quarterly. This is known as Trailing Twelve Month (TTM) or Last Twelve Month (LTM) Data. Learn more here.