company background image

WH Smith LSE:SMWH Stock Report

Last Price


Market Cap







05 Oct, 2022


Company Financials +
SMWH fundamental analysis
Snowflake Score
Future Growth5/6
Past Performance0/6
Financial Health1/6

SMWH Stock Overview

WH Smith PLC operates as a retailer in the United Kingdom and internationally.

WH Smith Competitors

Price History & Performance

Summary of all time highs, changes and price drops for WH Smith
Historical stock prices
Current Share PriceUK£12.05
52 Week HighUK£17.30
52 Week LowUK£11.65
1 Month Change-15.36%
3 Month Change-13.10%
1 Year Change-26.28%
3 Year Change-38.20%
5 Year Change-41.84%
Change since IPO215.19%

Recent News & Updates

Aug 25
Estimating The Fair Value Of WH Smith PLC (LON:SMWH)

Estimating The Fair Value Of WH Smith PLC (LON:SMWH)

Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of WH Smith PLC ( LON:SMWH ) by taking the expected...

Aug 04
At UK£14.46, Is WH Smith PLC (LON:SMWH) Worth Looking At Closely?

At UK£14.46, Is WH Smith PLC (LON:SMWH) Worth Looking At Closely?

WH Smith PLC ( LON:SMWH ), might not be a large cap stock, but it received a lot of attention from a substantial price...

May 27
Is WH Smith (LON:SMWH) A Risky Investment?

Is WH Smith (LON:SMWH) A Risky Investment?

Some say volatility, rather than debt, is the best way to think about risk as an investor, but Warren Buffett famously...

Shareholder Returns

SMWHGB Specialty RetailGB Market

Return vs Industry: SMWH exceeded the UK Specialty Retail industry which returned -31.5% over the past year.

Return vs Market: SMWH underperformed the UK Market which returned -13% over the past year.

Price Volatility

Is SMWH's price volatile compared to industry and market?
SMWH volatility
SMWH Average Weekly Movement5.1%
Specialty Retail Industry Average Movement6.7%
Market Average Movement5.5%
10% most volatile stocks in GB Market10.7%
10% least volatile stocks in GB Market2.9%

Stable Share Price: SMWH is not significantly more volatile than the rest of UK stocks over the past 3 months, typically moving +/- 5% a week.

Volatility Over Time: SMWH's weekly volatility (5%) has been stable over the past year.

About the Company

179211,000Carl Cowling

WH Smith PLC operates as a retailer in the United Kingdom and internationally. It operates in two segments, Travel and High Street. The Travel segment offers news, books, and convenience for travelling customers.

WH Smith Fundamentals Summary

How do WH Smith's earnings and revenue compare to its market cap?
SMWH fundamental statistics
Market CapUK£1.57b
Earnings (TTM)-UK£35.00m
Revenue (TTM)UK£1.07b


P/S Ratio


P/E Ratio

Earnings & Revenue

Key profitability statistics from the latest earnings report
SMWH income statement (TTM)
Cost of RevenueUK£429.00m
Gross ProfitUK£645.00m
Other ExpensesUK£680.00m

Last Reported Earnings

Feb 28, 2022

Next Earnings Date

Nov 10, 2022

Earnings per share (EPS)-0.27
Gross Margin60.06%
Net Profit Margin-3.26%
Debt/Equity Ratio201.9%

How did SMWH perform over the long term?

See historical performance and comparison
We’ve recently updated our valuation analysis.


Is SMWH undervalued compared to its fair value, analyst forecasts and its price relative to the market?

Valuation Score


Valuation Score 3/6

  • Price-To-Sales vs Peers

  • Price-To-Sales vs Industry

  • Price-To-Sales vs Fair Ratio

  • Below Fair Value

  • Significantly Below Fair Value

  • Analyst Forecast

Key Valuation Metric

Which metric is best to use when looking at relative valuation for SMWH?

Other financial metrics that can be useful for relative valuation.

SMWH key valuation metrics and ratios. From Price to Earnings, Price to Sales and Price to Book to Price to Earnings Growth Ratio, Enterprise Value and EBITDA.
Key Statistics
Enterprise Value/Revenue2.2x
Enterprise Value/EBITDA44.9x
PEG Ration/a

Price to Sales Ratio vs Peers

How does SMWH's PS Ratio compare to its peers?

SMWH PS Ratio vs Peers
The above table shows the PS ratio for SMWH vs its peers. Here we also display the market cap and forecasted growth for additional consideration.
CompanyPSEstimated GrowthMarket Cap
Peer Average0.9x
WOSG Watches of Switzerland Group
PETS Pets at Home Group
FRAS Frasers Group
JD. JD Sports Fashion

Price-To-Sales vs Peers: SMWH is expensive based on its Price-To-Sales Ratio (1.5x) compared to the peer average (0.9x).

Price to Earnings Ratio vs Industry

How does SMWH's PE Ratio compare vs other companies in the GB Specialty Retail Industry?

Price-To-Sales vs Industry: SMWH is expensive based on its Price-To-Sales Ratio (1.5x) compared to the UK Specialty Retail industry average (0.3x)

Price to Sales Ratio vs Fair Ratio

What is SMWH's PS Ratio compared to its Fair PS Ratio? This is the expected PS Ratio taking into account the company's forecast earnings growth, profit margins and other risk factors.

SMWH PS Ratio vs Fair Ratio.
Fair Ratio
Current PS Ratio1.5x
Fair PS Ratio1.6x

Price-To-Sales vs Fair Ratio: SMWH is good value based on its Price-To-Sales Ratio (1.5x) compared to the estimated Fair Price-To-Sales Ratio (1.6x).

Share Price vs Fair Value

What is the Fair Price of SMWH when looking at its future cash flows? For this estimate we use a Discounted Cash Flow model.

Below Fair Value: SMWH (£12.05) is trading below our estimate of fair value (£13.74)

Significantly Below Fair Value: SMWH is trading below fair value, but not by a significant amount.

Analyst Price Targets

What is the analyst 12-month forecast and do we have any statistical confidence in the consensus price target?

Analyst Forecast: Target price is more than 20% higher than the current share price and analysts are within a statistically confident range of agreement.

Discover undervalued companies

Future Growth

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

Future Growth Score


Future Growth Score 5/6

  • Earnings vs Savings Rate

  • Earnings vs Market

  • High Growth Earnings

  • Revenue vs Market

  • High Growth Revenue

  • Future ROE


Forecasted annual earnings growth

Earnings and Revenue Growth Forecasts

Analyst Future Growth Forecasts

Earnings vs Savings Rate: SMWH is forecast to become profitable over the next 3 years, which is considered faster growth than the savings rate (0.9%).

Earnings vs Market: SMWH is forecast to become profitable over the next 3 years, which is considered above average market growth.

High Growth Earnings: SMWH is expected to become profitable in the next 3 years.

Revenue vs Market: SMWH's revenue (8.8% per year) is forecast to grow faster than the UK market (4.4% per year).

High Growth Revenue: SMWH's revenue (8.8% per year) is forecast to grow slower than 20% per year.

Earnings per Share Growth Forecasts

Future Return on Equity

Future ROE: SMWH's Return on Equity is forecast to be high in 3 years time (27.4%)

Discover growth companies

Past Performance

How has WH Smith performed over the past 5 years?

Past Performance Score


Past Performance Score 0/6

  • Quality Earnings

  • Growing Profit Margin

  • Earnings Trend

  • Accelerating Growth

  • Earnings vs Industry

  • High ROE


Historical annual earnings growth

Earnings and Revenue History

Quality Earnings: SMWH is currently unprofitable.

Growing Profit Margin: SMWH is currently unprofitable.

Past Earnings Growth Analysis

Earnings Trend: SMWH is unprofitable, and losses have increased over the past 5 years at a rate of 54% per year.

Accelerating Growth: Unable to compare SMWH's earnings growth over the past year to its 5-year average as it is currently unprofitable

Earnings vs Industry: SMWH is unprofitable, making it difficult to compare its past year earnings growth to the Specialty Retail industry (32%).

Return on Equity

High ROE: SMWH has a negative Return on Equity (-14.9%), as it is currently unprofitable.

Discover strong past performing companies

Financial Health

How is WH Smith's financial position?

Financial Health Score


Financial Health Score 1/6

  • Short Term Liabilities

  • Long Term Liabilities

  • Debt Level

  • Reducing Debt

  • Debt Coverage

  • Interest Coverage

Financial Position Analysis

Short Term Liabilities: SMWH's short term assets (£290.0M) do not cover its short term liabilities (£357.0M).

Long Term Liabilities: SMWH's short term assets (£290.0M) do not cover its long term liabilities (£789.0M).

Debt to Equity History and Analysis

Debt Level: SMWH's net debt to equity ratio (159.6%) is considered high.

Reducing Debt: SMWH's debt to equity ratio has increased from 26% to 201.9% over the past 5 years.

Debt Coverage: SMWH's debt is well covered by operating cash flow (27.6%).

Interest Coverage: SMWH's interest payments on its debt are not well covered by EBIT (0.6x coverage).

Balance Sheet

Discover healthy companies


What is WH Smith current dividend yield, its reliability and sustainability?

Dividend Score


Dividend Score 0/6

  • Notable Dividend

  • High Dividend

  • Stable Dividend

  • Growing Dividend

  • Earnings Coverage

  • Cash Flow Coverage


Forecast Dividend Yield

Dividend Yield vs Market

WH Smith Dividend Yield vs Market
How does WH Smith dividend yield compare to the market?
SegmentDividend Yield
Company (WH Smith)0%
Market Bottom 25% (GB)2.1%
Market Top 25% (GB)5.9%
Industry Average (Specialty Retail)3.4%
Analyst forecast in 3 Years (WH Smith)2.8%

Notable Dividend: Unable to evaluate SMWH's dividend yield against the bottom 25% of dividend payers, as the company has not reported any recent payouts.

High Dividend: Unable to evaluate SMWH's dividend yield against the top 25% of dividend payers, as the company has not reported any recent payouts.

Stability and Growth of Payments

Stable Dividend: Insufficient data to determine if SMWH's dividends per share have been stable in the past.

Growing Dividend: Insufficient data to determine if SMWH's dividend payments have been increasing.

Earnings Payout to Shareholders

Earnings Coverage: SMWH is not paying a notable dividend for the UK market.

Cash Payout to Shareholders

Cash Flow Coverage: Unable to calculate sustainability of dividends as SMWH has not reported any payouts.

Discover strong dividend paying companies


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


Average management tenure


Carl Cowling





Mr. Carl D. Cowling has been Group Chief Executive at WH Smith PLC since November 01, 2019. Mr. Cowling served as Managing Director of High Street Business at WH Smith PLC since 2017 until November 01, 201...

CEO Compensation Analysis

Carl Cowling's Compensation vs WH Smith Earnings
How has Carl Cowling's remuneration changed compared to WH Smith's earnings?
DateTotal Comp.SalaryCompany Earnings
Feb 28 2022n/an/a


Nov 30 2021n/an/a


Aug 31 2021UK£1mUK£550k


May 31 2021n/an/a


Feb 28 2021n/an/a


Nov 30 2020n/an/a


Aug 31 2020UK£608kUK£482k


May 31 2020n/an/a


Feb 29 2020n/an/a


Nov 30 2019n/an/a


Aug 31 2019UK£2mUK£201k


Compensation vs Market: Carl's total compensation ($USD1.33M) is below average for companies of similar size in the UK market ($USD2.08M).

Compensation vs Earnings: Carl's compensation has increased whilst the company is unprofitable.

Leadership Team

Experienced Management: SMWH's management team is seasoned and experienced (9.3 years average tenure).

Board Members

Experienced Board: SMWH's board of directors are considered experienced (3.7 years average tenure).


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.

Recent Insider Transactions

LSE:SMWH Recent Insider Transactions by Companies or Individuals
DateValueNameEntityRoleSharesMax Price
16 Nov 21SellUK£144,671Carl CowlingIndividual8,920UK£16.22

Ownership Breakdown

What is the ownership structure of SMWH?
Owner TypeNumber of SharesOwnership Percentage
State or Government208,5110.2%
Public Companies322,2090.2%
Individual Insiders352,5360.3%
Private Companies355,3470.3%
Employee Share Scheme496,7360.4%
General Public5,400,1284.1%

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

Top Shareholders

Top 25 shareholders own 69.86% of the company
OwnershipNameSharesCurrent ValueChange %Portfolio %
Causeway Capital Management LLC
Capital Research and Management Company
BlackRock, Inc.
7,513,633£90.5m18.46%no data
M&G Investment Management Limited
Marathon Asset Management Limited
The Vanguard Group, Inc.
5,615,417£67.6m-0.22%no data
Royal London Asset Management Limited
3,579,563£43.1m-6.04%no data
Artemis Investment Management LLP
J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Inc.
BNPP Asset Management Holding
Ignis Investment Services Limited
Legal & General Investment Management Limited
Norges Bank Investment Management
2,257,126£27.2m8.1%no data
Boston Partners Global Investors, Inc.
Wellington Management Group LLP
Societe Generale Group, Banking Investments
Mn Services NV
Fidelity International Ltd
Pictet & Cie (Europe) S.A., Asset Management Arm
Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss, LLC
Metzler Asset Management GmbH
State Street Global Advisors, Inc.
1,311,742£15.8m3%no data
Franklin Resources, Inc.
BNPP Asset Management France

Company Information

WH Smith PLC's employee growth, exchange listings and data sources

Key Information

  • Name: WH Smith PLC
  • Ticker: SMWH
  • Exchange: LSE
  • Founded: 1792
  • Industry: Specialty Stores
  • Sector: Retail
  • Implied Market Cap: UK£1.573b
  • Shares outstanding: 130.61m
  • Website:

Number of Employees


  • WH Smith PLC
  • Greenbridge Road
  • Swindon
  • Wiltshire
  • SN3 3RX
  • United Kingdom


TickerExchangePrimary SecuritySecurity TypeCountryCurrencyListed on
SMWHLSE (London Stock Exchange)YesOrdinary SharesGBGBPJan 1980
WHTP.FOTCPK (Pink Sheets LLC)YesOrdinary SharesUSUSDJan 1980
SMWHLBATS-CHIXE (BATS 'Chi-X Europe')YesOrdinary SharesGBGBPJan 1980
21QDB (Deutsche Boerse AG)YesOrdinary SharesDEEURJan 1980

Company Analysis and Financial Data Status

All financial data provided by Standard & Poor's Capital IQ.
DataLast Updated (UTC time)
Company Analysis2022/10/05 00:00
End of Day Share Price2022/10/05 00:00
Annual Earnings2021/08/31

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.