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Manchester United is IPO-ing pretty soon. What sort of factors would affect their share price? Unlike most companies, they don't have product announcements, weather and political factors don't really affect their growth prospects and their costs are almost entirely salaries.

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A portion of revenue is tied to team performance. For example: the farther a team progresses in the Champions League, the more money they receive. – s_hewitt Jul 31 '12 at 20:22
Don't they have product announcements? Big name players are a draw, big names means more seats sold, probably means more profit? – MrChrister Jul 31 '12 at 21:21
Big-name players cost a lot of money, to sign and for salaries, might not work out or might get injured (literally a non-performing asset). So they are also a risk. How would an investor treat a big-name signing? Plus or minus? – Jay Jul 31 '12 at 22:02
I've reopened this question. It's asking about how to analyze a certain kind of business as an investment, which is on-topic subject matter; i.e. stock investing. – Chris W. Rea Oct 5 '12 at 12:34
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Costs are almost entirely salaries

Apart from all the usual costs incurred by running a large, complex, business, ManU are servicing debt that is getting up around the GBP500M mark. This is debt racked up by the Glazer family since purchasing the team, as well as debt they took with them to the team.

What sort of factors would affect their share price?

Product endorsements, ticket prices, attendance, and merchandise sales are all important contributors. But also, performance in the domestic league and in domestic and European cups are also factors. Should their participation falter for any reason, that ripples through everything (decrease in brand exposure) - and this is, along with the debt problem, the biggest risk.

Edit: By the way, you are aware that this is an NYSE IPO; you can see how they have done on the FTSE over the past 10 years or so.

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