a) Tonddu plc is expected to report record earnings of £120m next year. It has grown rapidly over the last few years, the growth has been achieved by maintaining a high level of profitability and investing heavily in the business. The company's investment has been financed entirely from retentions. It has been able to achieve this highly profitable growth as a result of patents for innovative products in an expanding market. It is expected to invest 70 per cent of its earnings next year, but it is anticipated this investment will fall to 50 per cent of earnings in the following year, to 40 per cent in three years from now, and to 25 per cent in subsequent years. The rate of return on investment next year is expected to be 50 per cent and this is expected to fall to 35 per cent in year two, to 20 per cent in year three, and to 10 per cent year four and in subsequent years. The opportunities for profitable investment are expected to contract as competitors find their way around the patents and take up more of the market. The expected long term rate of return of 10 per cent is also the shareholders' required rate of return.
Determine a value for the company and explain the basis on which the value was obtained - this should contain an explanation of the key assumptions underlying your analysis.
b) The average price-earnings ratio for companies in a sector is found to be 11.40. Fallin plc's price earnings ratio is 9.50 and it has been suggested by an analyst who follows the company that this is evidence of the undervaluation of the company's shares. Critically assess the view of the analyst, pointing out why a price-earnings ratio that deviates from the average cannot be taken as evidence of a mis-valuation of a share.
c) The current financial crisis has led many observers to conclude that the efficient market theory should now be abandoned. Evaluate this view.