Founded in 1909, Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Ltd is a private, family owned company, employing 5,786 staff. In 2018, the business generated >£80m of EBITDA on revenues of £2.5bn, and has significant organic opportunities ahead. Not only, accelerating expansion at its leading aerospace/defence (MADG) and motor retail businesses (MMH - 64.46% owned).
Published: Aug 06 2019
We note the recent article in Jane’s Defence Weekly of the decision by the UK MoD to extend the life of the RAFs fleet of 14 Lockheed Martin C-130J/C-130J 30 Hercules transport aircraft by a further five years to 2035. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (MADG) has begun the work required to extend the life of the Hercules fleet.
In addition to recent contract wins, we also view this announcement as good news, extending the life of what has been a significant programme for the business. While we are leaving estimates unchanged, we reiterate our valuation per NVPO share at 532p, which represents a near 64% premium to the last average share price trade.
MADG, a specialist system engineering and project management business, had originally secured a contract to provide whole-life maintenance/support for the Hercules fleet in 2006. This latest announcement represents the second time that the life span of the RAFs Hercules fleet has been extended - the previous occasion being within the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, from 2022 to 2030.
The work necessary for prolonging the life of the fleet includes the replacement of the centre-wing box (CWB). This represents part of the wider £350m investment budgeted by the MoD in the Hercules fleet and announced in September 2016. The expenditure will be split into £200m on key components (including the CWB) to extend the aircraft’s life and a further £150m of upgrades to enhance its capabilities. In comparison with its ultimate replacement, the Airbus A400M, the Hercules benefits from an ability to take off and land on short runways and this is operationally invaluable.
Like any project work, revenues are likely to be ‘lumpy’ in nature. Yet, we also note the steady improvement in the division’s book-to-bill ratio (excluding the Hercules Integrated Operational Support (HIOS) contract with the UK MoD), which rose to 2.51:1 in 2018 from 1.27:1 in 2017. This provides work to keep more of the hangars busy at any one time.
Looking ahead, we anticipate that the next trading update for Marshall of Cambridge will be in September, following the Interim results from its 65%-owned quoted subsidiary, Marshall Motor Holdings PLC (MMH).
Our FY19 and FY20 estimates are unchanged following this announcement, as the work will be performed over the medium term, mostly beyond the scope of our current estimates. However, in terms of sentiment and future earnings visibility the announcement clearly represents good news for MADG.
We retain our valuation of 532p per NVPO share.
First step in creating long-term value
Published: May 22 2019
The backbone of success for Marshall of Cambridge (MCH) has been the Group’s desire to adapt and stay ahead of its rivals by being prepared to move decisively where strategic opportunities present themselves. As evidenced last week, when MCH announced that by 2030 it was intending to relocate its division MADG from its 900 acres site at Cambridge Airport to new, state-of-the-art facilities at one of 3 possible venues: Cranfield, Duxford airfield or RAF Wyton.
This move would allow MADG to more easily service its widening international client base, whilst freeing up vital capital to further invest in its cutting edge aerospace/defence capabilities, along with MCH’s other interests. This could also lead to perhaps hundreds of new highly skilled jobs being created.
Equally, the plan should provide the local community with an urgently required source of quality residential houses (up to 12,000), commercial property (5m sq ft) and transport solutions. A ‘win-win’ for the shared benefit of all stakeholders.
One must be aware that there are still many hurdles to climb before this can become reality, such as obtaining full planning permission, choosing MADG’s next home, relocating employees/equipment, and finally redeveloping the Cambridge site.
This is why at this stage, we conservatively retain our 533p/share valuation and financial forecasts. Albeit, we certainly recognise the significant potential of the announcement to create additional long-term value.
Undervalued Aerospace and Defence stock
Published: May 10 2019
Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Ltd is a private, family owned company that was founded in 1909 and is now of significant size, employing 5,786 staff.
In 2018, the business generated over £80m of EBITDA on revenues of £2.5bn, and has significant organic opportunities ahead. We expect accelerating expansion at its leading aerospace/defence (MADG) and motor retail businesses (Marshall Motors which is AIM listed, but owning a 64.46% shareholding).
Additionally there is scope to address its loss making Fleet Solutions arm, and to be more active in high-tech venture capital investments. And in terms of assets the Group might be able to unlock significant value over time from its 900 acres estate at Cambridge.
The non-voting priority ordinary shares (NVPOs) can be traded freely via a special off-exchange matching facility administered by stockbroker James Sharp. The NVPOs currently attract business property relief, and so can fall outside a person’s estate for inheritance tax purposes.
The most recent traded price for a NVPO was 285p, yet our analysis (using sum-of-the-parts methodology) indicates a current fair value for the Group of 532p. We would note that this excludes any further upside arising from additional land being made available for redevelopment.