Experian (EXPN) may specialise in a highly technical part of the information services industry, but it's strategy is relatively simple: invest in new sources of data. To that end the group poured $305m (£226m) into acquisitions and investments during the year, including the acquisition of sub-prime credit bureau Clarity Services for $109m, which serves to expand both the product range and range of data sources.
Data is big business because it attracts sticky customers and has high barriers to entry. Indeed, in the reported period the group signed major new contracts with large financial institutions in the US, the UK and Brazil. This helped boost like-for-like revenues in the business-to-business division (which contributes 80 per cent of the top line) by 8 per cent, more than enough to offset ongoing challenges in the consumer services division.
But despite decent results, analysts at Goldman Sachs Equity Research shaved their forecasts by 1.6 per cent to take into account the expected impact of IFRS 15 on revenue recognition. Earnings per share in the year to March 2019 are now expected at 106¢ (2018: 98¢).
|ORD PRICE:||1,758p||MARKET VALUE:||£ 16.1bn|
|TOUCH:||1,757-1,757.5p||12-MONTH HIGH:||1,770p||LOW: 1,428p|
|DIVIDEND YIELD:||1.9%||PE RATIO:||27|
|NET ASSET VALUE:||285¢*||NET DEBT:||130%|
|Year to 31 Mar||Turnover ($bn)||Pre-tax profit ($bn)||Earnings per share (¢)||Dividend per share (¢)|
|*Includes intangible assets of $5.99bn, or 653p a share, £1 = $1.35|