Rentokil Preliminary (NYSE:RTO) is one other lesser-known compounder that carried out extraordinarily properly up to now decade, with shares up over 480% in the course of the interval. The corporate operates within the extremely engaging pest management trade which is massive, increasing, and resilient. Its fragmented nature additionally presents additional development alternatives by way of acquisitions.
Whereas the corporate is buying and selling close to its all-time excessive, its valuation stays engaging, with multiples considerably under main opponents. I imagine the present value is greater than justified for such a high-quality firm with constant development. Due to this fact I price RTO inventory as a purchase.
An Enticing Trade
Rentokil Preliminary is a London-based firm that gives pest management and hygiene & well-being providers. The corporate is among the leaders within the trade working in over 97 cities throughout the globe. I’ll focus totally on pest management in this text because the section accounts for 71% of complete income whereas hygiene & well-being account for less than 23%.
Pest management is among the most engaging industries for my part. Whereas the operations are mundane, it’s a massive and steadily increasing trade. In line with Allied Market Analysis, the worldwide market dimension of pest management is forecasted to develop from $22.6 billion in 2022 to $39 billion in 2032, representing a strong CAGR (compounded annual development price) of 5.7%.
There are a number of catalysts driving the market enlargement. Urbanization and the rise in inhabitants is a serious catalyst that continues to gasoline demand, particularly in rising cities and nations. Local weather change has additionally elevated the proliferation of pests, because the rise in temperature favors their copy and survival price. This and the rising consciousness of well being and hygiene amid the latest pandemic have additionally boosted the necessity for pest management providers.
The pest management market is extraordinarily fragmented with many small and native gamers within the combine. In line with the Rentokil Preliminary, there are 18,000 pest management corporations within the US and 30,000 in Asia. This presents big development alternatives by way of market consolidation. The corporate had been actively buying smaller opponents with the intention to develop its scale. As an illustration, it acquired 15 corporations within the first quarter and 52 within the final 12 months. These ongoing acquisitions ought to assist speed up its enlargement and development.
The pest management market can be extremely resilient resulting from its non-discretionary nature. Most clients won’t cut back their spending even throughout downturns as they don’t wish to danger the potential proliferation of pests, which severely impacts their well being and hygiene. Given the trade’s resiliency, Rentokil Preliminary ought to be well-positioned to deal with the potential financial slowdown shifting ahead.
In an effort to speed up its enlargement within the pest management market, Rentokil Preliminary acquired Terminix for a hefty $6.7 billion final 12 months. Terminix is among the world’s largest pest management corporations with 2.9 million clients and has a powerful presence in North America’s residential market.
After the mixture, the corporate will turn into way more centered round pest management, with 75% of income coming from the section, up from 62% beforehand. The enterprise combine will even enhance as 35% of income now comes from residential clients, up from simply 12% beforehand.
The mix ought to be extremely synergetic because it helps the corporate additional develop its presence in key areas reminiscent of North America, which accounts for 50% of the full pest management market. It’ll additionally considerably enhance the corporate’s service community and route density, which improves operational effectivity and protection. The underside line also needs to profit from cost-cutting initiatives, particularly round administrative and property-related prices.
Regardless of the latest enhance in share value, the valuation of Rentokil Preliminary nonetheless appears compelling for my part. The corporate is presently buying and selling at a fwd. P/E ratio of 28.1x, which is discounted throughout the pest-control trade. As proven within the chart under, its largest opponents Rollins (ROL) and Ecolab (ECL) have a mean fwd. P/E ratio of 41x, which represents a considerable premium of 45.9%. Rollins had been repeatedly buying and selling at a premium valuation resulting from its heavy publicity to the engaging pest management trade. After the Terminix deal, Rentokil Preliminary can be now way more uncovered to the trade and its valuation ought to catch up shifting ahead, which ought to supply significant upside potential.
As a result of market’s fragmented nature, competitors can be fairly robust, particularly from smaller corporations. Whereas Rentokil Preliminary has significant market shares, smaller gamers typically decrease their costs to compete, which put potential stress on the corporate’s pricing. One other danger lies throughout the mixture with Terminix. Not like most bolt-on acquisitions, the dimension of this deal is sort of massive in dimension, which makes the mixing of the enterprise way more complicated and tougher. The administration group should execute flawlessly shifting ahead with the intention to obtain their anticipated synergies.
I imagine Rentokil Preliminary will proceed to carry out properly in the long term. The corporate ought to see sturdy income development because it continues to learn from natural market enlargement and ongoing market consolidation. The acquisition of Terminix additionally vastly develop the corporate’s scale and enhance its publicity to the pest management market. As the corporate turns into extra of a pure pest management play, its valuation hole with friends also needs to contract, which presents significant upside potential. The present value appears compelling contemplating its prospects and valuation, and I price the corporate as a purchase.