When thinking of our childhood, LEGO is usually one of the first things that comes to mind. It has been a true companion not only to us, but to thousands of children around the world. LEGO is today one of Denmark’s most well-known flagships and something truly to be proud of. Their mission has always been to encourage the builders of tomorrow by inspiring and challenging the way children play. Due to a strategically wrong turn, the company almost went bankrupt. However, they managed to make a huge turnaround and are today highly successful. Due to our personal affection for the brand alongside our financial background, we found this development to be very interesting and the main motivation for choosing LEGO for our thesis.
The purpose of the thesis is to estimate the fair value of LEGO A/S as of 1th of August 2016, by using both absolute and relative valuation models to assess which type we find the most accurate.
Our strategic analysis concluded that the market for construction toys is set to increase further in the future, driven mostly by growth in the Chinese market. The main value drivers were identified to be a growing population of children between 0-14 years of age, increasing disposable income for low-income families and a general increase in sales of licensed toys.
The financial statement analysis showed that LEGO has seen strong financial performance outperforming its peers on all the applied ratios. ROIC saw increasing levels during the period but ROE decreased due to the use of lesser financial leverage.
The fair value of LEGO was estimated to be 356.67 billion DKK using a DCF and EVA model with a WACC level of 5,42%. The sensitivity analysis showed that the value was especially sensitive to changes in sales growth, EBITDA-margin and underlying components of WACC.
Two different approaches were applied in the multiple valuation, resulting in estimated values of 302.2 billion DKK and 134.8 billion DKK, respectively. These results are however not considered to be highly accurate due to the lack of truly comparable peers.
Both absolute and relative valuation models each have their respective advantages and challenges. The challenge of using absolute models is that the value is solely dependent on the analyst’s own assumptions in regards to the company’s future. The biggest challenge faced when using multiples is choosing truly comparable peers.
This thesis concludes that absolute valuation models are the most accurate to use due to the fact that the theoretical foundation multiples are based on is simply not met. It is our assessment that finding companies that are perfect substitutes for one another is impossible.
|Educations||MSc in Finance and Accounting, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||152|