Manchester United PLC owns and operates a professional football club, Manchester United, which is based in Manchester, England. The company generates income via three principal segments: Commercial, Broadcasting, and Matchday. The commercial segment leverages the Manchester United brand to generate revenues through sponsorships, merchandising, and product licensing, as well as mobile and content. The broadcasting segment generates revenues from the distribution of Manchester United live games on different media and platforms. The Matchday segment generates revenues from Old Trafford, the iconic 75,000-capacity stadium, which hosts Manchester United home games and has averaged 99% attendance rates for many decades. The company is headquartered in Manchester and was founded in 1878.
Manchester United plays in the English Premier League, which is the most watched professional sports league in the world. It is the most successful club in that league and boasts over 1 billion fans worldwide. The company has been aggressively expanding its commercial portfolio and has managed to divorce on-pitch performance with off-pitch success. This is very important because the football club has performed relatively dismally since the departure of their legendary coach, Sir Alex Ferguson. Since 2013, they have not won the prestigious league, and have only qualified for Europe’s premier club competition, and the UEFA Champions League four times. They have also been overtaken by other football clubs that are backed by sovereign wealth funds, such as PSG and Manchester City. Nonetheless, Manchester United remains a strong brand that continues to sustain incredible commercial appeal despite the challenges on the pitch. Some of the company’s major sponsors include Adidas, Chevrolet, TeamViewer, Tezos, Apollo Tyres, Betfred, Cadbury, DHL, Kohler, Konami, Marriot Hotels, and Snapdragon.
Manchester United PLC went public on August 10, 2012. The company is listed on the NYSE, where its stock trades under the ticker symbol MANU. The stock is categorised in the Communication Services sector, under the Entertainment industry.
MANU Stock History
MANU stock was listed with an IPO price of $14. The stock got off to a lacklustre start and spent its first couple of years constrained within a range of $12-$18. MANU shares (NYSE: MANU price) broke out of this range in late 2017 and sustained a brief rally that saw it print its all-time peak above $25 in August 2018. Since then, the stock has largely trended lower, and as of August 2022, it trades at around $12.
When it comes to the MANU stock dividends, Manchester United PLC is a regular dividend payer. The company has paid stable dividends in the last ten years, averaging an annual yield of 1.40%.
How to Trade MANU Stock
Here are some of the factors to consider when trading Manchester United stock:
- Legislative and Taxation issues
Football has a huge cultural footprint in the UK and the English Premier League enjoys massive global viewership. This has expanded the revenue pot of football clubs in the country, and this has cast a spotlight on the amount of taxes that football generates in the country. Because tax has traditionally been paid on profit, football clubs have increased their spending on players and other infrastructure as they pursue sporting success. There have, however, been regulations that have attempted to target expenditure (and consequently taxation) of football clubs, such as the Financial Fair Play rules. Legislative factors and taxation policies can weigh down on the bottom line of football clubs, and on Manchester United, it can also impact the overall success of the club.
- Manchester United Team Success
While Manchester United has continued to perform well off the pitch, continued underperformance on it can impact its future commercial success. When the team last won the championship in the 2012-2013 football season, the club was the most valuable team in the world and stood at the top of the ‘football money league’ – a reference to the ranking of football teams in terms of revenue generation. Already, the club has slid down in the rankings but continues to remain among the top 5 owing to its rich history and fan numbers. But this trajectory may hinder the club’s potential of breaking revenue ceilings by attracting huge sponsorship deals. In particular, the club’s inability to play in top football competitions may also lead to stagnant revenues that will scare off investors.
- Company News
As a sports brand that can attract fanatical investors, the MANU share price can be influenced by company news interpreted as impactful on the club’s future. Such news includes the purchase or selling of perceived quality or average players, potential club takeover headlines, important infrastructure investments, signing or firing of club coaches, as well as sponsorship deals. The impact of social retail investors has peaked, and MANU is one of those stocks that can be targeted by such actions.
- Periodic Earnings Reports
The Manchester United PLC fiscal year runs from July to June, and the company releases periodic earnings reports to update investors on its business health and performance. Some of the metrics to watch out for include segment revenues and debt levels. Positive numbers could inspire higher stock prices, whereas negative figures could trigger lower prices.
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