Valuation of William Demant Holding A/S: “I Hear it’s a Sound Investment”

Pawel Sebastian Stania & Rune Patrick Sørensen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis seeks to value the firm William Demant Holding, with the intent of making a buy, hold or sell recommendation on their shares. William Demant is a global hearing aid company with Danish origin, and a key player in the industry. The firm develops, manufactures and distributes hearing aid products and also have ties to the headphone market. In order to value the firm, the thesis performed a strategic analysis and a financial statement analysis, which was used to create a forecast for William Demant’s future earnings and assets. The value of the forecast was then calculated using an EVA valuation model, and a sensitivity analysis of the conclusion was performed to ensure the validity of the results. The strategic analysis included three parts: PESTLE, Porters Five Forces and Value chain analysis. The strategic analysis revealed that there is a global increase in demand for hearing aid products, which translate to projected growth in the industry. The US, which is a large market for William Demant, recently passed a new law, which allows for hearing aid devices to be sold over-the-counter, where consumers were previously required to buy them through hearing aid specialists. It also revealed that technology plays a key role in the industry, which forces the industry to invest in R&D to stay competitive. The industry is currently dominated by a few large firms, which all keep R&D investments high. The industry is considered to be profitable, with no substituting products, industry growth and high entry barriers, which prevents further competition. The financial statement analysis included two parts: profitability analysis and liquidity analysis. The profitability analysis revealed that William Demant is highly value-creating, and a strong performer in the industry, with higher than average industry returns. This stems from their lower production costs, which gives them a competitive advantage. The liquidity analysis showed that William Demant holds less liquidity than peers, which impacts the firm’s financial costs and management’s ability to implement strategies, however given the low amount of debt and the low interests rates, this is a limited concern. From the forecast and valuation model, it is shown that the value of one William Demant share at 22/02/2018 is DKK 399.30, compared to a market price of DKK 210.60. As such, the stock is undervalued, and it is recommended to buy William Demant stock, as it is a sound investment.

EducationsMSc in Accounting, Strategy and Control, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages157
SupervisorsEvis Sinani