17.49 0.00 (0.00%)
After hours: 4:17PM EST
|Bid||17.00 x 1400|
|Ask||22.00 x 1200|
|Day's Range||17.25 - 17.84|
|52 Week Range||15.30 - 20.91|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.77|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.18 (0.99%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Apr 22, 2020|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
It's not just Manchester United players feeling frustrated of late. So are the club's accountants. Core earnings at the English soccer giant fell 31% to just $93 million in the second quarter. That as the club failed to qualify for Europe's lucrative Champions League. Participation in next year's contest also looks far from assured. United currently sit fifth in the English Premier League, one place adrift of the usual qualifying spots. It's all the more galling given events at deadly rival Liverpool. There, manager Juergen Klopp is smashing records on the way to a seemingly inevitable Premier League title: (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, SAYING: "But it's so special - the numbers are incredible, so difficult." If Klopp's men do win it will be Liverpool's first title in 30 years. Manchester United bosses will hope their time in the wilderness isn't quite so extended.
SHOWS: MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UK (JANUARY 6, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER ASKING MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER PEP GUARDIOLA: "Pep, Solskjaer said this morning he admires your team and the standards you've set in your time at Manchester City, what do you admire about what Ole's doing and his Manchester United side?" GUARDIOLA: "I think he's started to see his team what he wanted, that is my feeling when I see his teams. Even the last game against Arsenal that they lost, we see clear what they want, what he wants. "It's not easy to handle a team, a big, big club, always demanding to be champion in all competitions. But I think every manager needs time, and I think, I have the feeling, that United start to play the way he wants, or he wants as his old manager Sir Alex Ferguson, is my feeling." REPORTER: "I know this is a different game because it's a semi-final, but what do you feel you learnt from that defeat against United a few weeks ago?" GUARDIOLA: "Well, how fast they are in the counter-attack. How solid, how aggressive. I think we conceded a few counter-attacks in the beginning, and in just two or three seconds, they are in the box, they have incredible pace and talent. But in general, the game was good. We created chances, and unfortunately, we couldn't win." REPORTER: "Pep, how much of a dilemma do you have in terms of your team selection, because obviously you've made changes for cup in the past, maybe Bravo playing, but it's Manchester United and a semi-final?" GUARDIOLA: "No, I have an idea still, I didn't think so, of course the cup, especially with the incredible amount of games some players have in the legs, they should be rested for the previous games, so now I have an idea of the way we want to play, but still I don't have 100% sure the guys that are going to play tomorrow." 2. WHITE FLASH 3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER ASKING MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER PEP GUARDIOLA: "You're obviously here to win trophies, given the position in the Premier League, does this cup, the opportunity to be three games from winning it, become even more important?" GUARDIOLA: "No. It was important the first season and the next two, and this one, nothing changed for the fact for this theory, like we won the Premier League in the previous season, they wouldn't have been important - doesn't matter, it was not the case, it's a game we need to play and we're going to do a good game." STORY: Manchester City's Pep Guardiola believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stamped his authority at Manchester United with a fresh tactical approach but said the Norwegian will need more time to build a squad capable of winning titles. United have struggled for consistency in Solskjaer's first full season as manager and have won just two Premier League games since beating City last month. The defeat to Arsenal on New Year's Day left United five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, but Guardiola has seen signs of United players finally translating Solskjaer's gameplans onto the pitch. "Ole has started seeing the team he wanted - that's my feeling," Guardiola told a news conference on Monday (January 6) ahead of City's League Cup semi-final first-leg against United on Tuesday (January 7). "Even the last (league) game against Arsenal, that they lost, we saw what they want. "It's not easy to handle a team at a big, big club... always demanding to win competitions and every manager needs time. I have the feeling United started to play the way he wants." Guardiola will look to ensure his team is not vulnerable to counter-attacks as they were when United duo Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial carved out an early lead at the Etihad Stadium last month. "I think we conceded few counter-attacks in the beginning and in just two-three seconds they're in the box. They have incredible pace and talent to do that," the Spanish coach said. "In general the game was good, we created chances." City confirmed defender Nicolas Otamendi, who missed the last two games against Port Vale and Everton, has returned to training and will be available for the match at Old Trafford. "I have an idea of the way I want to play but I am not 100% sure of the guys who play tomorrow," Guardiola added. "Especially with the incredible amount of games some players have in the legs, they should be rested for the previous games." (Production: Mike Brock)
Manchester United (MANU) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 5.26% and -4.41%, respectively, for the quarter ended December 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?
Manchester United executive vice-president Ed Woodward has launched a robust defence of football’s so-called Financial Fair Play regime, after local rivals Manchester City were banned from the Champions League for breaches of the regulations. Earlier this month, Uefa, European football’s governing body, barred Manchester City from continental competitions for two years and fined the club €30m for “serious breaches” of FFP rules that were designed to stop overspending on players. “I see a strong commitment from Uefa to ensure that financial fair play continues to deliver the benefits it clearly has in the industry,” Mr Woodward said on Tuesday.
Investors can buy low cost index fund if they want to receive the average market return. But across the board there...
Manchester United (MANU) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.
The stocks of Liberty Braves, Manchester United, and others are often driven more by private transaction valuations than they are by fundamentals.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Manchester United Plc is the General Electric Co. of soccer.Both are storied giants used to dominating their respective fields, who enjoyed their heyday in the 1990s. In Alex Ferguson and Jack Welch respectively, they had dominant leaders who set an all-but-impossible standard to follow (even if there are questions about what they left to their unfortunate successors). And in recent years, both have a track record of poor capital allocation that has seen them underperform their rivals.Where Man Utd has spent hundreds of millions of pounds over the past eight years buying players such as French midfielder Paul Pogba and Belgian attacker Romelu Lukaku, GE went on a spending spree that included the 12.4 billion-euro ($13.8 billion) acquisition of Alstom SA’s power generation business. That deal’s entire value was ultimately written down.When Jeff Immelt took over as GE’s chief executive officer in 2001, it was the biggest company in the S&P 500. Over his 16-year tenure, he spent some $200 billion buying companies, yet shareholders enjoyed annual returns of just 0.5%. In the same period, the S&P 500 was averaging returns of 7.4% a year.Man Utd is much the same. After winning 12 English Premier League titles in 20 years, the club has won just one championship since its 2012 initial public offering. That’s even as it spent a net 740 million pounds ($965 million) through June 2019 buying new players. In the same period, its bitter rival Liverpool FC spent spent less than half that amount, yet was crowned European champion last year and is running away with the Premier League this season.Soccer fans will argue all day that their club owners under-invest in the playing squad to milk the club for cash. Man Utd is owned by the American Glazer family and chants of “Glazers Out” are regularly heard at the team’s Old Trafford stadium. Fans accuse them of leveraging up the club and keeping the IPO proceeds for themselves.The story for investors is just as grim. Since the IPO, Man Utd has returned 5.8% a year. Italy’s Juventus Football Club SpA, Germany’s Borussia Dortmund GmbH and AFC Ajax NV in the Netherlands, all publicly traded, have averaged returns of 22% in the same period.Adding to the ignominy, the consulting firm Deloitte expects revenue at Man Utd, which has long challenged Spain’s Real Madrid and Barcelona for the title of the world’s most valuable soccer team, to fall as much as 11% this year, as failure to qualify for the European Champions League hurts sales. That could allow domestic rivals Manchester City FC and Liverpool to overtake it, knocking the Red Devils off the top spot in England for the first time since Deloitte began its Money League report on soccer 23 years ago.The problem isn’t that Man Utd has skimped on player investment — the numbers show that it hasn’t, at least in recent years. But it has invested poorly. A useful point of comparison is Juventus, which occupies a similar status in Italy, having won more Italian championships, known as Scudettos, than any other team.After the Turin-based club, run by the same Agnelli family that controls Fiat Chrysler Automotive NV, sold Pogba to Man Utd for 89 million pounds, it reinvested the proceeds in a string of players who subsequently led the team to the final of the Champions League, Europe’s top club competition. In the 12 months after Pogba’s departure, Juventus’s share price climbed 141%, although admittedly this was from a very low starting point.Since the Italian team signed Cristiano Ronaldo, a five-time winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player, for 100 million euros in 2018, stock increases have added almost 800 million euros to its market capitalization. That’s a very good return on investment, regardless of how Ronaldo plays.The comforting news for Man Utd is that it differs from GE in one key respect: its problems are easier to solve. In aviation, power generation, and oil and gas equipment, GE makes products for markets that face an extremely uncertain future. The Manchester giant just needs to invest its capital more shrewdly. The best way to do that is to improve its long-term recruitment strategy, and for that it will need more effective management structures in place. Ed Woodward, the club’s executive vice-chairman, is the man in the firing line for increasingly angry fans. Immelt would no doubt commiserate.\--With assistance from Elaine He.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Owning a soccer team has long seemed a mug’s game — little more than a vanity project for the errant super-rich.Until recently, that is. A new breed of owners with backgrounds in U.S. private equity is seeping into the beautiful game, particularly England’s Premier League, where club valuations have soared. Greater financial certainty has made teams a more appealing investment. But when it comes to seeking an exit, the same risks prevail.A quarter of the Premier League’s 20 teams now have an owner in private equity. That ranges from Silver Lake’s 10% stake in City Football Group Ltd., the parent company for Manchester City Football Club, to Fortress Investment Group founder Wes Edens’s co-ownership of Aston Villa Football Club. Even more are circling. The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times reported last month that Todd Boehly, whose Eldridge Industries LLC owns a number of media companies and part of the Los Angeles Dodgers, made a failed bid to acquire Chelsea Football Club.Owners are generally loath to discuss why they invest in a given soccer club. They prefer to talk about a team’s unrealized sporting potential than the ability to wring more money out of its fans. But the business logic looks pretty straightforward: apply some know-how to boost commercial revenue, particularly in Asia and the U.S., and hope that income from broadcast rights continues to soar.The problem in soccer is that more revenue doesn’t always mean more profit. Take Manchester United Plc. The English giant’s sales ticked steadily upward over the past decade, rising 75% between 2009 and 2019 to 627 million pounds ($821 million). Profit has been harder to depend on, swinging from 5.3 million pounds in 2009 to a 48 million-pound loss the following year. The team, whose roster boasts French World Cup winner Paul Pogba and England defender Harry Maguire, posted a somewhat measly 19 million pounds profit in the last fiscal year.While admittedly coinciding with a period of lackluster on-field performances, the team’s shares have underperformed the S&P 500 since their 2012 listing. It makes investing in a soccer team that’s already near the top of the league table a difficult proposition. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly seeking 3 billion pounds for the club, which has won five league titles under his ownership. Given the profit it generated last year, that would mean annual returns of little more than 2%. And prospects for making more money off team jerseys, gear or specialized fan services are more limited at those major teams that have already spruced up their offerings as their sporting fortunes grew.The greater opportunities are to be found in smaller clubs with unrealized potential. Aston Villa is a prime case in point. When Edens and the Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris bought a 55% stake in the team for about 30 million pounds in 2018, they were acquiring a distressed asset scrapping for promotion from England’s second tier. But the risk was low given the upside for one of the biggest teams in England’s second-largest city, Birmingham. Just two years earlier the club had changed hands for twice that much money. So far, the gamble has paid off after Villa secured promotion last year. Even after spending more than 100 million pounds on player transfers in an effort to fend off immediate relegation, Edens and Sawiris can expect the club to be valued at as much as five times that outlay if the team cements its Premier League status. Teams with a similar-sized stadium, fan base and history such as West Ham United FC, Leicester City FC and Everton are valued by KPMG at between 500 million euros and 600 million euros. So the worst-case scenario for Edens and Sawiris is that they perhaps lose 150 million pounds between them. Best-case, they can make a profit topping 400 million pounds. That’s a healthy risk-return profile. (When hedge fund titan David Tepper paid $2.3 billion for the NFL's Carolina Panthers in 2018, he did so safe in the knowledge the team (and therefore his income) would never be subjected to the vicissitudes of relegation to a lower league.)In essence, it’s easier to justify acquiring a smaller, underperforming soccer club than a team already in the upper echelons. Crystal Palace and West Ham, two other clubs with PE investors, fit that profile. But while a theoretical enterprise value is all well and good, realizing that value by selling a team onto a new buyer can be a harder proposition. If commercialization has been optimized, what levers does a new buyer have to generate more value beyond the hope that broadcast revenues continue to trend upwards? Just ask Mike Ashley, the retail billionaire who has been trying to sell Newcastle United FC for more than a decade. Or Jim Ratcliffe, the chemicals billionaire who passed on the opportunity to buy a number of Premier League clubs, telling the Times of London recently that he “never wants to be the dumb money.”For all of the professionalization of how soccer clubs are run, the implication is clear: Ultimately, the best way to secure the returns that private equity investors expect is to sell it to someone with cash to burn who is more interested in status than a return on investment. And that’s much the way it’s always been.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) is leaving no stone unturned to fortify presence in the digital media industry and expand content offerings on Youku.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Soccer’s global body FIFA is looking for money and commercial acumen. The private equity industry thinks it might be a solution. Like Chelsea’s Frank Lampard and Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard when they used to play together for England, it’s not obvious the pair are made for each other.FIFA’s strategic goal is to take the beautiful game to new audiences in new regions. That process is already well underway without the organization’s help. Chinese clubs are bidding absurd prices for Western stars, and soccer has an established foothold in the U.S. Meanwhile, India is emerging as the hot new target market; witness City Football Group, owner of Manchester City, buying a majority stake in Mumbai City FC last month.But FIFA sees a role for itself in getting the top clubs to expand their global horizons. It wants to expand its Club World Cup. This is currently made up of six regional champions from around the world plus the top club in the host nation, which this year is Qatar. As things stand, the event risks being a poor substitute for Europe’s Champions League, which is home to most of the game’s stars and some genuine club rivalry.The Club World Cup participants may be leaders in their individual federations, but it’s hard to see how the matches can generate the same atmosphere and tension as a game between teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid or Liverpool and Manchester United.Hence FIFA is expanding the contest to 24 clubs from the 2021 event in China. The body also seems keen to milk it for maximum commercial potential: It is talking to CVC Capital Partners about a partnership, the Financial Times reported last week. CVC has invested in sports before, having owned Formula One motor racing, and more recently taking a stake in the U.K.’s Premiership Rugby. The firm has also been approached for support on a parallel international club competition spearheaded by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, the FT said.What would private equity bring? An expanded tournament should surely be self-funding through the broadcasting rights and sponsorship deals. The need for additional capital isn’t obvious. The real benefit would be the ability to hand over the management of the competition to a well-organized partner with proven expertise that goes beyond selling airtime to the highest bidder. A buyout firm would almost certainly be more skillful than FIFA in making the most of merchandising and hospitality opportunities, and maximizing revenue from video content and data.The question is what’s in it for private equity. The investment committee of any interested buyout firm should weigh the opportunity with caution. FIFA’s past corruption scandals mean that any check should be written only after a tough due-diligence exercise given the reputation risk.Then there’s the question of whether an expanded Club World Cup would make more enemies than friends. A global club tournament gets in the way of national leagues — and there is already the lucrative Champions League and Europa League for Europe’s elite teams. Even the current small-scale Club World Cup competition generates scheduling conflicts.Such confections also risk perpetuating the divide between the teams that qualify (and thereby make more money, enabling them to snap up the best talent) and those that don’t. The bottom line is that outside investors need to be 100% sure they can improve the game for all fans before they get involved.Private equity has more money than investment opportunities right now so that’s why it’s fishing in new waters. But this has the potential to be much more controversial than its past sporting ventures. The introduction of video-assisted refereeing has probably been the most unpopular development in soccer recently. Small wonder this latest big idea is getting a similar welcome.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Premier League soccer club Manchester United have agreed a partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba in an effort to extend the club's engagement with fans in China. The deal will see Alibaba provide club content on its online video platform Youku and develop a future club store on the company's business-to-consumer platform Tmall.com. The deal is the latest move by United to engage with the Chinese market following the launch of a Chinese language app and plans for "experience centres" across the country.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The ability of the world’s biggest sports competitions to keep making more money could depend on one relatively mundane factor: broadband networks’ capacity to live-stream games to millions of households.The biggest test so far will come this week with Amazon.com Inc.’s broadcast of 10 Premier League matches. The broadcast revenues from England’s flagship soccer competition have started to plateau as television stations grow wary about writing outsize checks to obtain the rights. In response, the league has solicited U.S. tech giants in an effort to reinvigorate the bidding war for rights.Their entreaties have so far largely fallen on deaf ears. That is, until Amazon agreed to buy a relatively small package of Premier League games in June 2018. But Amazon’s interest fell short of creating a bidding war. The e-commerce giant is understood to have paid very little for the privilege of streaming 10 games this week and another 10 after Christmas. The intention was instead to whet Amazon’s appetite. If the broadcasts prove successful — which in Amazon’s case means signing up a host of new subscribers for its Prime service — then it might encourage the Seattle-based firm to bid for the bigger packages of games currently held by Comcast Corp.’s Sky division and BT Group Plc.The timing of the games is of course opportune for Amazon, coming shortly before Christmas. When users sign up for Prime Video, the service that will broadcast the games, they will also get access to the broader suite of Prime offerings, including Prime Delivery, which promises faster and free deliveries of products bought via Amazon.com. Prime subscribers spend an average of $1,400 a year on the website, compared to the $600 of other customers, the research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated last year.The challenge for Amazon is that it will be largely dependent on the U.K.’s broadband infrastructure to distribute the games, and that network is not fundamentally designed to support video live-streaming. While it has subcontracted BT to supply the feed to pubs and bars, ordinary households will use their existing internet connections. That may not make for pretty viewing as the U.K. has the fourth-lowest penetration of fiber-optic broadband in the European Union.Prior experiences have surfaced a welter of problems. Amazon’s first foray into sports broadcasting in the U.K. prompted a slew of complaints, partly to do with the editorial standards, but also to do with picture quality, a far more significant concern given the scale of the Premier League soccer challenge. YouTube TV’s live-stream of last year’s World Cup semi-final between England and Croatia crashed in the U.S., and AT&T Inc. ended up providing a pay-per-view golf match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson free after experiencing glitches. And while Amazon has shown National Football League games, the rights were shared with other classic broadcasters, reducing the network demand.An examination of the Premier League’s viewership highlights the extent of the risks. A match in August 2018 between Manchester United and Leicester City attracted some 1.1 million viewers on Sky, according to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board. Just 72,000 of those watched the game via a mobile device — the most readily available proxy for live-streaming. Even the England-Croatia game drew in just 337,000 viewers using mobile devices. On Dec. 4, Amazon will concurrently broadcast six games, each of which could have several hundred thousand viewers.Top of the list will be Liverpool versus Everton — a derby game of two sides from the same city, and therefore likely to create a demand peak in a relatively concentrated area. The match kicks off 45 minutes after the others, which could be construed as a move to try to spread the demand on the network.There are ways Amazon, with its deep cloud-computing expertise, can alleviate potential problems, not least by leaning on other content delivery network specialists such as Akamai Technologies Inc., whose additional servers can make it easier to handle peaks of demand. But even if the picture quality is up-to-scratch, there is always likely to be a lag which could prompt complaints. When Twitter Inc. broadcast NFL games in 2016, a 30- to 90-second lag meant that viewers often saw the score in a tweet before watching the play itself.It is easier for Amazon to justify spending more to deliver the content than it will generate from the subscriptions themselves, because it will make more money in the long-term from customers buying more products from Amazon.com. But if things go badly wrong, then it will play into the hands of Sky and BT, who have years of experience with live sports broadcasting, and control much of the underlying network.If there’s no big uptick in subscribers for Amazon this time around, and the games are beset by technical snafus, that’ll make it harder to attract more viewers — and thus more subscribers to Prime Video — over the next two years for which it has the rights. That could end hopes that Amazon or any other tech giant will be willing to bid serious money for the games anytime soon.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.