London, UK -headquartered Ascential Plc is engaged in the business of organizing exhibitions, congresses and festivals; which enable customers to transact and form strategic business partnerships. The company is a business-to-business, multi-platform media group. The company operates primarily in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Africa, and the Asia Pacific. It also provides industry-specific business intelligence, analysis and forecasting tools, subscription content, including real-time online resources, live events and awards, across fashion, retail, property, construction and political sectors. Ascential allows its customers to purchase print subscriptions, attend conferences and award ceremonies, and promote their services.
The company reported revenue of £348.5 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, and recorded an increase of 19% over FY17. In FY18, the company’s adjusted EBITDA stood at £101.8 mn as compared to £94.7 mn recorded in FY2017 and was up by 7.5 per cent. During the financial year ended December 31, 2018, the company’s operating profit (continuing operations) stood at £40.2 mn as compared to £31.3 mn reported last year and was up by 28.4 per cent.
The company has a strong brand portfolio. Its key brands in the Information Services segment include WGSN and Groundsure. The company’s Exhibitions and Festivals segment brands include Cannes Lions, Spring and Autumn Fair, and Money20/20. The company’s strong brand portfolio facilitates easy customer recall and provides market penetration opportunities.
However, the group operates in an intensely competitive environment. It also faces competition from industry-focused trade associations and convention centre and exhibition hall owners. Ascential also competes for online advertising and users with other business-to-business websites as well as Google and other internet search engines. Intense competition could put pricing pressures on the company, besides reducing its market share.
Share Price Performance
At the time of writing (as on June 04, 2019 at 12:50 PM GMT), shares of ASCL were quoting at GBX 364.8 and declined by 0.59% against the previous day’s closing price. In the past 52-wks, shares have registered a high of GBX 469 and a low of GBX 335.60, and at the current trading level, the stock was down by approximately 22.22% from the 52w high price level.
Daily Price Chat (as on June 04, 2019), before the market close. (Source: Thomson Reuters)
On a year on year basis, the stock has delivered a negative price return of around 14.57 per cent and on a year-to-date basis, the stock was down by around 2.7 per cent.
From the simple moving average standpoint, the stock was trading below the 30-days and 200-days simple moving average prices, which is a bearish technical indicator for the stock.
The group’s stock beta was 0.27, reflecting lower volatility of the stock as compared to the benchmark index.
Stock’s average traded volume for 5 days was 515,843.40; 30 days – 687,027.70 and 90 days – 728,036.06. From the volume standpoint, 5-days average volume traded on the London Stock Exchange was around 24.8 per cent below the 30-days average daily volume traded on the London Stock Exchange.
The outstanding market capitalisation of the company stood approximately at £1.47bn, and the dividend yield of the company stood at 2.13 per cent.