23. February 2021 | 09:20 CET
TUI, Marble Financial, Zalando - Does it work?
The customer is king! Here, desire and reality sometimes diverge quite a bit. Companies that know, understand and fulfill their customers and their customers' wishes have a greater chance of operating profitably. We introduce you to three companies that focus on very different target groups. The question arises: happy customers = happy shareholders? We will tell you where the equation works out.
time to read: 3 minutes by Carsten Mainitz
TUI AG - Pendulum of the Pandemic
Europe's leading tourism group is suffering enormously from the Corona pandemic. Several capital injections in recent months have ensured that the lights have not gone out at TUI. The share price of the holding Company was quoted below EUR 2 at times. Unsurprisingly, an improvement in the pandemic situation is quickly reflected in the share price. Yesterday, the share price was able to rise in the wake of positive news. A study by the Israeli Ministry of Health shows that the BioNTech vaccine has a 90% probability of stopping the virus's transmission. This news takes away a lot of uncertainty.
On February 9, the Group published its latest quarterly data from October to December. Since the fiscal year deviates from the calendar year, these represent the first quarter. The figures are devastating: a drop in sales of 88% to EUR 468 million and the increase in the loss from EUR 105 million to EUR 813 million. Although the Company succeeded in securing a further financing package worth EUR 1.8 billion in December and thus, according to the Company, has sufficient liquidity until a recovery sets in, the Group's crisis is not yet over. TUI expects a significant recovery in the coming summer season and refers to bookings of already 2.8 million guests.
Given a negative equity ratio of 5% as of the balance sheet date and net debt of around EUR 7 billion, the Group must return to profitability soon. A later recovery of the travel industry than assumed could be dangerous in terms of debt and liquidity. Even if state aid and capital measures were to retake effect, shareholders could be massively diluted. The stock will undoubtedly be buoyed in the near term by sentiment as vaccinations and the pandemic fight for progress. Investors should gradually exit the stock if it continues to rise on the way to the EUR 6 mark. The Company's valuation, profitability and risk structure simply do not match.
MARBLE FINANCIAL INC - Feel-good factor
At Canadian fintech Marble Financial Inc, everything revolves around the "financial wellness" of its customers. The Vancouver-based Company has created MyMarble, an innovative, data-driven and personalized platform that helps Canadians manage debt and improve their credit scores. Directly derived from this, users benefit through cheaper loans or rebuilding a credit score. In general, the platform also helps create individual budgets and track progress towards realizing personalized financial goals. The platform also relies heavily on the (further) education of users.
Marble reports on new collaborations and partnerships almost every week. Strategically, the Company aims to establish itself as a leader in the financial wellness space by embedding itself in an extensive, growing network. Last week, the Canadians reported on its first white-label distribution agreement with Canadian Financial, which has real added value for users. Users will now have access to the credit provider's broad network. Both companies are united by the motivation to inform and educate consumers from previously underserved groups and provide them with greater financial flexibility.
The innovative Company has achieved necessary financing steps in recent months. Marble wants to grow with a clear profile and is continuously expanding its network. Gradually, this will also be monetized. With a stock market value of CAD 20 million, the Company is very moderately valued.
ZALANDO SE - Major shareholder wants to exit completely
Not only the customers could scream with happiness in recent months, but the shareholders too. Last week, Zalando's shares reached a new all-time high of just under EUR 103. Then, the major shareholder, the Swedish investment Company Kinnevik, announced that it would let the Annual General Meeting in April vote on Zalando shares' distribution as a dividend. The transaction is then expected to be completed in Q2. Around half of the voting rights holders have already signaled their support for these plans, the Swedes reported.
At risk is the 21% stake Kinnevik holds in the Berlin-based company, which is currently worth around EUR 5 billion. The plan has so far caused the share price to correct by around 10%. In 2010 the Swedes had invested in Zalando, which was founded in 2008. Now, after a very successful investment, they want to put the funds into other projects.
It may well be that the share corrects in the next few months. It is likely that the "Zalando dividend" will be realized by Kinnevik shareholders, creating selling pressure. The current price targets from UBS and Baader Bank of EUR 117 and EUR 115, respectively, indicate where the stock might go again soon.