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Analyse aandeel Ahold

Ahold is zowel in Europa als de Verenigde Staten bezig met zijn strategie van kostenverlaging en omzetverhoging. Als Ahold tegelijkertijd momentum weet te creëren in al deze markten dan genereert het een gezonde kasstroom. (Engelstalig rapport)

Kenneth Perkins 18 december, 2013 | 1:52

INVESTMENT THESIS

Ahold attempts to sustain a virtuous cycle of lowering costs, building strong consumer brands, driving identical sales growth, and allocating capital to new growth. The company deploys this strategy in its key European markets (the Netherlands and Czech Republic) as well as the U.S., although the firm's relative competitiveness differs in each market. If Ahold can build momentum in all these areas simultaneously, irrespective of the region, it should generate healthy cash flows.

Ahold is not alone in attempting to improve in the aforementioned areas. An established network of well-recognized banners allows Ahold to leverage its distribution scale to drive out inefficiencies and lower per-unit costs. That said, efficient operations do not ensure that a cost advantage will be sustained, unless the business model underlying the operations is not and cannot be easily replicated by rivals. Such an advantage is rare in grocery retail, as several highly efficient competitors already operate large, multiformat store bases.

Many firms pass cost savings through to customers via lower prices, with hopes to drive store traffic. Limited customer switching costs, the motivation for these price investments, are the primary constraint on economic moats in defensive retail because they limit the amount of value retailers can capture from customers. To capture more value, most retailers attempt to increase customer loyalty via not only attractive prices, but also with strong brand offerings, personalized promotions, and in-store experiences, but we believe these efforts could ultimately be replicated by rivals.

We think the online marketplace will be a priority for Ahold. Ahold's Peapod is a leading online grocer in the U.S., and although stiff competition from rivals such as Amazon is a concern, established vendor relationships and distribution fleets should help Ahold capture share. Ahold could do this by leveraging its store base to build out online pickup sites, which it is doing in both the U.S. and Europe. When combined with Ahold's lower exposure to large-format stores, online capabilities should help Ahold adapt to evolving consumer shopping behavior.


VALUATION

Economic Moat   Fair value   Stewardship Rating   Boodschappen
None   EUR 14.00   Standard  
Moat Trend   Uncertainty   Sector  
Stable   High  

Defensieve consumptiegoederen
- retail


BULLS

  • Ahold is building out its online pickup sites, a program that allows customers the option to order online and collect groceries at designated locations, which could have a positive impact to identical-store sales.

  • Remodeling many stores in the United States, developing a smaller hypermarket design, and accelerating new-store growth into new markets should help Ahold generate 1%-2% to comparable-store sales annually.

  • Ahold plans to increase private brand penetration to 40% of sales in the United States, thus maintaining or increasing profit margin levels.

 


BEARS

  • Roughly half of Ahold's sales and margins are accounted for in the eurozone, where debt-driven austerity programs could hurt growth.

  • In the United States, where the company derives the other half of its profits, the grocery market has consolidated, largely because of Wal-Mart's and Costco's expansion into food; AmazonFresh could drive more consolidation.

  • Target (City), Wal-Mart small formats, Supervalu Save-a-Lot concepts, Aldi, and the dollar stores all continue to rapidly expand grocery square footage, which could inhibit meaningful margin expansion in the U.S.

 

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Effecten genoemd in dit artikel

Naam effectPrijsChange (%)Morningstar Rating
Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV24,09 EUR0,27

Over de auteur

Kenneth Perkins  Ken Perkins is a stock analyst covering consumer packaged goods firms. He joined Morningstar in 2011 after graduating from Valparaiso University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

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