Manchester United plc (NYSE: MANU) is holding up rather well considering that it posted a wider loss in the fourth quarter. The initial public offering in early August of the world’s most valuable soccer team has not exactly been that rewarding to its shareholders. We warned that this was going to be a situation no different from other companies where shareholders have now power. We also warned that it could be the next Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) pattern.
The good news is that Manchester United’s IPO has “only” generated mild losses. Or maybe that should say “so far.” The IPO was supposed to come out at $16 to $20 initially but priced at $14 per share. The initial reaction had shares trading up but that reversed rather quickly. Now shares are down about 10% from the IPO price at $12.60 after a post-earnings drop of 2.6%.
The low close of $12.18 was on September 12 at $12.18 and the lowest print during the trading day was $12.00 on the following day.
Facebook shares got uglier after the same IPO date of Manchester United. The good news is that they have recovered and the down and out social networking stock’s price of $21.68 compares to a close of $21.81 on the August 10 date. The difference is that Facebook’s low was $17.73 on September 4.
Maybe this is one of those situations where bad news for Manchester United may feel just like “less-bad” than it could have been. One of the key reasons that the team listed on the NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX) rather than on the London Stock Exchange is that the London exchange does not generally permit the dial share structures which give holders no real voting rights.
Another “less-bad” news for Manchester United shareholders is that the shares would have to drop down to under $7 for the situation to really be the same.
JON C. OGG