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City broker tips accesso to ramp up investment this year under new chairman

Industry veteran Bill Russell was installed as accesso’s new chairman last month, taking over from long-time boss Tom Burnett

universal studios volcano bay
Investors will be looking for some clarity in the end-of-year report which is due out at the end of March
  • Makes virtual queuing and ticketing technology used by likes of Universal Studios

  • 2018 results set to be ‘broadly in line with expectations’

  • Investment review underway, results to be published end of March

  • New chairman installed in February

 

What it does

Accesso Technology Group PLC (LON:ACSO) is a technology solutions provider to leisure, entertainment, hospitality and cultural markets.

More than 1,000 theme parks and attractions use its tech, which helps visitors to have a more enjoyable and hassle-free time.

One of its big deals is with Universal Studios’ Volcano Bay water park in Florida. On arrival, guests are given one of accesso’s Prism wristwatches which can then be used to hold their place in line, open lockers and even pay for food and drinks.

While this is beneficial for the guests, it also makes sense for the parks, which can track customer journey information – what they like to do and when, for example – which it also makes it easier for guests to spend money.

Accesso, which is, of course, based in Orlando, also has a host of other ticketing and point-of-sales solutions which it sells to clients.

 

How it’s doing

It’s been a tumultuous few months for accesso, during which its long-serving executive chairman Tom Burnett stepped aside to become a non-executive director.

Industry veteran Bill Russell has taken over as the new chairman, albeit in a non-executive capacity.

The company said in February that full-year results for 2018 will be “broadly in line with market expectations”, although that is before a US$1.7mln charge for an aborted acquisition back in October.

accesso bosses recently kicked off a review of the firm’s investment priorities for the year ahead, so investors will be looking for more clarity at the end of March, when the full results statement is released.

Within that release, City broker Peel Hunt expect the company to announce a ramp-up in investment in order to take advantage of “significant future opportunities”.

The stock has tumbled by 40% this year on the back of the uncertainty, not helped by the likes of Blackrock selling down some of their holdings.

 

What the broker says

Despite the issues which have knocked investor sentiment of late, Peel Hunt still has the stock as an ‘add’ with a bullish price target of 1,200p.

It believes the company didn’t invest enough in its technology last year and expects that to be corrected in 2019.

That will likely dent earnings in the short-term, but the analysts note that accesso should reap the rewards a bit further down the line.

Quick facts: Accesso Technology Group PLC

Price: 580 GBX

LSE:ACSO
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £160.3 m
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