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Countrywide Plc: Hopefully Today's Buyback Announcement Is Just The Beginning
- On 10/1, Countrywide announced a £20 mn buyback.
- Though positive, given the company's strong balance sheet and free cash flow, Countrywide could repurchase £275 million worth of stock, or 26% of all shares outstanding.
- By repurchasing 26% of outstanding shares, countrywide could boost EPS 23%. The author expects large buybacks, a low valuation, and an improving UK property market to drive share price appreciation.
Countrywide PLC: 11.5x Trough Earnings With Ample Buyback Capacity; 90-130% Upside
- Countrywide PLC is the leading UK's largest residential real estate agency. It trades at just 11.5x 2014 estimated earnings.
- 2014 housing transactions in the UK are expected to be 33% below the 30 year average level of housing transactions. Normalization of the housing market provides significant upside to earnings.
- At a normal level of housing transactions, Countrywide could earn L0.66 per share. At today's price of L4.70, Countrywide trades at just 7x my estimate of normal EPS.
- Countrywide is nearly debt free and highly cash generative. Were Countrywide to lever its balance sheet to 2x EBITDA, the company could repurchase ~25% of outstanding shares.
- Countryside could make an attractive acquisition target for a strategic buyer like Berkshire Hathaway or a private equity group.
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