How we took on the Investment Research Challenge… with success!

Masters Blog

22 February 2021

With global markets in turmoil, a global pandemic wreaking havoc across industries and an unprecedented level of uncertainty for future outlooks, this years´ Investment research challenge at Vlerick was exactly what it depicts; a true challenge.

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In late September 2020, we were introduced with this years´ choice Kinepolis, a global cinema operator. The extensive project enabled its participants to immediately put into action what we were discussing during our courses in a real-world scenario. The participants were analyzing financial statements, elaborating strategic implications, interpreting impact of news and made sure to know every detail of the enterprise by heart. All that flowed into the keystone of the project: the valuation of the company´s target price.

Since our group did not have experience with financial modeling and capital budgeting outside of the classroom, this posed the biggest hurdle to our team. It took us several days and nights and extensive discussions with helpful peers to finally conclude a valuation with both multiples and an extensive Discounted cashflow model (DCF) that represents all the information, scenarios, sensitivities and assumptions we have gathered over the course of months. We would like to reiterate how grateful we are to our colleagues of the 2021 Financial Management master for reaching out and helping us despite having an extensive workload themselves.

Several months of extensive qualitative & quantitative research and analysis along several night shifts have proven to be worth it all the way.

All of that work enabled us to author a sell-side analyst report which we would not have been able to do a few months before. Another nerve wrecking part was the live presentation of our results to a jury of experts as well as Kinepolis’ CFO Nicolas De Clercq in mid January 2021. Several months of extensive qualitative & quantitative research and analysis along several night shifts have proven to be worth it all the way.

We would like to thank our peers of 2021 MFM, Natalia Matanova, Ph.D. Kerstin Fehre, and Wouter De Maeseneire for granting us the possibility of deep-diving into a company, whose industry was severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, but continues to prove how agile capital management, strong stakeholder communication and a resilient growth strategy can be effective measures to survive the on-going pandemic.

René HöwelkrögerCharlotte CnockaertVictor BerthetJesus MolinosMohith Dayananda (current Masters students in Financial Management)

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Sara Teuwen

Sara Teuwen

Senior Programme Advisor Masters