LSE:ASCL

Stock Analysis Report

Executive Summary

Ascential plc provides business-to-business information services for product design, marketing, sales, and built environment and policy in the United Kingdom and internationally.


Snowflake Analysis

Reasonable growth potential with mediocre balance sheet.

Share Price & News

How has Ascential's share price performed over time and what events caused price changes?


Latest Share Price and Events

Stable Share Price: ASCL's share price has been volatile over the past 3 months.


Market Performance


7 Day Return

10.5%

ASCL

11.1%

GB Media

10.0%

GB Market


1 Year Return

-33.4%

ASCL

-35.4%

GB Media

-23.0%

GB Market

Return vs Industry: ASCL exceeded the UK Media industry which returned -35.4% over the past year.

Return vs Market: ASCL underperformed the UK Market which returned -23% over the past year.


Shareholder returns

ASCLIndustryMarket
7 Day10.5%11.1%10.0%
30 Day-29.0%-29.0%-17.6%
90 Day-38.0%-43.3%-27.3%
1 Year-32.4%-33.4%-32.7%-35.4%-18.9%-23.0%
3 Year-20.5%-23.9%-42.9%-50.2%-12.9%-24.2%
5 Yearn/a-43.1%-54.8%1.6%-21.8%

Price Volatility Vs. Market

How volatile is Ascential's share price compared to the market and industry in the last 5 years?


Simply Wall St News

Valuation

Is Ascential undervalued compared to its fair value and its price relative to the market?

41.4%

Undervalued compared to fair value


Share Price vs. Fair Value

Below Fair Value: ASCL (£2.43) is trading below our estimate of fair value (£4.14)

Significantly Below Fair Value: ASCL is trading below fair value by more than 20%.


Price To Earnings Ratio

PE vs Industry: ASCL is poor value based on its PE Ratio (123.4x) compared to the Media industry average (17.9x).

PE vs Market: ASCL is poor value based on its PE Ratio (123.4x) compared to the UK market (12.4x).


Price to Earnings Growth Ratio

PEG Ratio: ASCL is poor value based on its PEG Ratio (3.9x)


Price to Book Ratio

PB vs Industry: ASCL is overvalued based on its PB Ratio (1.8x) compared to the GB Media industry average (0.8x).


Next Steps

Future Growth

How is Ascential forecast to perform in the next 1 to 3 years based on estimates from 11 analysts?

31.6%

Forecasted annual earnings growth


Earnings and Revenue Growth Forecasts


Analyst Future Growth Forecasts

Earnings vs Savings Rate: ASCL's forecast earnings growth (31.6% per year) is above the savings rate (0.5%).

Earnings vs Market: ASCL's earnings (31.6% per year) are forecast to grow faster than the UK market (15.5% per year).

High Growth Earnings: earnings are expected to grow significantly over the next 3 years.

Revenue vs Market: ASCL's revenue (5.9% per year) is forecast to grow faster than the UK market (2.3% per year).

High Growth Revenue: ASCL's revenue (5.9% per year) is forecast to grow slower than 20% per year.


Earnings per Share Growth Forecasts


Future Return on Equity

Future ROE: ASCL's Return on Equity is forecast to be low in 3 years time (14.9%).


Next Steps

Past Performance

How has Ascential performed over the past 5 years?

35.1%

Historical annual earnings growth


Earnings and Revenue History

Quality Earnings: ASCL has a large one-off loss of £40.0M impacting its December 31 2019 financial results.

Growing Profit Margin: ASCL's current net profit margins (1.9%) are lower than last year (5.7%).


Past Earnings Growth Analysis

Earnings Trend: ASCL's earnings have grown significantly by 35.1% per year over the past 5 years.

Accelerating Growth: ASCL's has had negative earnings growth over the past year, so it can't be compared to its 5-year average.

Earnings vs Industry: ASCL had negative earnings growth (-60.5%) over the past year, making it difficult to compare to the Media industry average (-1.8%).


Return on Equity

High ROE: ASCL's Return on Equity (1.5%) is considered low.


Next Steps

Financial Health

How is Ascential's financial position?


Financial Position Analysis

Short Term Liabilities: ASCL's short term assets (£258.6M) do not cover its short term liabilities (£263.8M).

Long Term Liabilities: ASCL's short term assets (£258.6M) do not cover its long term liabilities (£366.1M).


Debt to Equity History and Analysis

Debt Level: ASCL's debt to equity ratio (53.1%) is considered high.

Reducing Debt: ASCL's debt to equity ratio has reduced from 313.5% to 53.1% over the past 5 years.

Debt Coverage: ASCL's debt is well covered by operating cash flow (30.9%).

Interest Coverage: ASCL's interest payments on its debt are well covered by EBIT (8.8x coverage).


Balance Sheet

Inventory Level: ASCL has a low level of unsold assets or inventory.

Debt Coverage by Assets: ASCL's debt is not covered by short term assets (assets are 0.9x debt).


Next Steps

Dividend

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

2.39%

Current Dividend Yield


Upcoming Dividend Payment


Dividend Yield vs Market

Notable Dividend: ASCL's dividend (2.39%) isn’t notable compared to the bottom 25% of dividend payers in the UK market (2.69%).

High Dividend: ASCL's dividend (2.39%) is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the UK market (7.48%).


Stability and Growth of Payments

Stable Dividend: Whilst dividend payments have been stable, ASCL has been paying a dividend for less than 10 years.

Growing Dividend: ASCL's dividend payments have increased, but the company has only paid a dividend for 4 years.


Current Payout to Shareholders

Dividend Coverage: With its high payout ratio (294.7%), ASCL's dividend payments are not well covered by earnings.


Future Payout to Shareholders

Future Dividend Coverage: ASCL's dividends in 3 years are forecast to be well covered by earnings (31.8% payout ratio).


Next Steps

Management

How experienced are the management team and are they aligned to shareholders interests?

3.4yrs

Average management tenure


CEO

Duncan Painter (49yo)

8.42s

Tenure

UK£2,255,000

Compensation

Mr. Duncan Anthony Painter is a Non-Executive Director at ITV Plc since May 1, 2018. Mr. Painter has been Chief Executive Officer of Ascential plc since October 2011. Mr. Painter has been the Chief Executi ...


CEO Compensation Analysis

Compensation vs Market: Duncan's total compensation ($USD2.80M) is above average for companies of similar size in the UK market ($USD1.91M).

Compensation vs Earnings: Duncan's compensation has increased by more than 20% whilst company earnings have fallen more than 20% in the past year.


Leadership Team

NamePositionTenureCompensationOwnership
Duncan Painter
CEO & Director8.42yrsUK£2.26m0.91% £8.8m
Amanda Gradden
CFO & Director4.17yrsUK£1.39m0.19% £1.9m
Michael Lisowski
COO & President of Edge by Ascential3.67yrsno datano data
Sean Harley
Chief Information Officer & President of Siberiano datano datano data
Rory Elliott
Head of Investor Relationsno datano datano data
Anna Reeves
Chief Marketing Officer1.17yrsno datano data
Ralph Tribe
Chief People Officer2.42yrsno datano data
Natasha Christie-Miller
President of Product Design and Built Environment & Policy Divisions2.17yrsno datano data
Philip Thomas
President of Marketing Division & Chairman of Cannes Lions2.17yrsno datano data
Kevin Silk
Managing Director of WGSN3.42yrsno datano data

3.4yrs

Average Tenure

51yo

Average Age

Experienced Management: ASCL's management team is considered experienced (3.4 years average tenure).


Board Members

NamePositionTenureCompensationOwnership
Duncan Painter
CEO & Director8.42yrsUK£2.26m0.91% £8.8m
Amanda Gradden
CFO & Director4.17yrsUK£1.39m0.19% £1.9m
Philip Thomas
President of Marketing Division & Chairman of Cannes Lions2.17yrsno datano data
Michael Kassan
Chairman & CEO of MediaLinkno datano datano data
Judy Vezmar
Independent Non-Executive Director4.17yrsUK£61.00k0.012% £121.4k
Scott Forbes
Independent Chairman of the Board4.17yrsUK£173.00k0.051% £500.3k
Paul Harrison
Independent Non-Executive Director4.17yrsUK£61.00k0.00070% £6.8k
Rita Clifton
Senior Independent Director3.83yrsUK£56.00kno data
Gillian D. Kent
Independent Non-Executive Director4.17yrsUK£51.00kno data

4.2yrs

Average Tenure

56yo

Average Age

Experienced Board: ASCL's board of directors are considered experienced (4.2 years average tenure).


Ownership

Who are the major shareholders and have insiders been buying or selling?


Insider Trading Volume

Insider Buying: Insufficient data to determine if insiders have bought more shares than they have sold in the past 3 months.


Ownership Breakdown

Dilution of Shares: Shareholders have not been meaningfully diluted in the past year.


Top Shareholders

Company Information

Ascential plc's company bio, employee growth, exchange listings and data sources


Key Information

  • Name: Ascential plc
  • Ticker: ASCL
  • Exchange: LSE
  • Founded: 2016
  • Industry: Advertising
  • Sector: Media
  • Market Cap: UK£976.689m
  • Shares outstanding: 402.26m
  • Website: https://www.ascential.com

Number of Employees


Location

  • Ascential plc
  • The Prow
  • 1 Wilder Walk
  • London
  • Greater London
  • W1B 5AP
  • United Kingdom

Listings

TickerExchangePrimary SecuritySecurity TypeCountryCurrencyListed on
A04DB (Deutsche Boerse AG)YesOrdinary SharesDEEURFeb 2016
ASCLLSE (London Stock Exchange)YesOrdinary SharesGBGBPFeb 2016
ASCLLBATS-CHIXE (BATS 'Chi-X Europe')YesOrdinary SharesGBGBPFeb 2016
A04BRSE (Berne Stock Exchange)YesOrdinary SharesCHCHFFeb 2016
AIAP.FOTCPK (Pink Sheets LLC)YesOrdinary SharesUSUSDFeb 2016

Biography

Ascential plc provides business-to-business information services for product design, marketing, sales, and built environment and policy in the United Kingdom and internationally. It offers industry-specific business intelligence, insights, and forecasting through data and digital subscription tools. The company was formerly known as Trident Floatco PLC and changed its name to Ascential plc in January 2016. Ascential plc was incorporated in 2016 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom. 


Company Analysis and Financial Data Status

All financial data provided by Standard & Poor's Capital IQ.
DataLast Updated (UTC time)
Company Analysis2020/03/31 00:20
End of Day Share Price2020/03/30 00:00
Earnings2019/12/31
Annual Earnings2019/12/31


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.