creditFiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) is planning for a first public offering of its Ferrari aid. And word on the Road is that Ferrari’s shares– like everything else to do with the brand– won’t come cheap.

$1.8 million for each of Ferrari’s yearly sales?
Bloomberg reported this beyond week that the sports-car manufacturer’s evaluation can go as high as 11 billion euros ($12.4 billion)– or regarding $1.8 million for every of the roughly 7,000 cars that Ferrari is expected to market this year.

FCA plans to offer a 10 % stake in Ferrari through a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares will be traded under the sign ‘FRRI’.

But they will not come inexpensive. Ferrari made 389 million euros ($439.2 million) before passion as well as tax obligations in 2014 on net profits of 2.762 billion euros ($3.1 billion). At 11 billion euros, Ferrari would be valued at over 28 times its 2014 EBIT– an extremely hefty assessment for a carmaker.

It’s a particularly large appraisal considered that Ferrari appears figured out to limit its own possibility for development, for good reasons.

Is Ferrari a carmaker, a luxury-goods company, or both?
FCA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne– that is likewise the chairman of Ferrari– has actually said repeatedly that the company shouldn’t be valued like an automaker. Rather, he asserts, it ought to be taken a look at more like a manufacturer of high-end products, and assigned an evaluation appropriately– 20 times incomes or even more, versus the about 10-12 times earnings that is typical for a carmaker.

There’s some quality to that, around a point. Ferrari really is marketing deluxe products. Its sales volumes are restricted on purpose, to maintain the brand name’s feeling of exclusivity: Need consistently surpasses supply. The local business caps sales at around 7,000 a year– and also while Marchionne has hinted that the cap might be increased to 10,000 eventually, it’s not most likely to go much higher.

Ferrari does not really have competitors similarly that a mass-market automaker does. Individuals which want a Ferrari normally desire a Ferrari, no concern what Porsche or other sports-car makers could be offering. It’s hard to envision a scenario (besides a protracted global financial situation or a scandal that damaged the brand) in which Ferrari would certainly be required to cut prices.

But at the same time, it’s hard to see where Ferrari will find the growth that stock-investors commonly demand.


A highly lucrative company, but where will certainly it locate growth?
There’s probably a little development to be had over time merely by increasing prices. Raising the sales cap– a little bit each time– could possibly likewise supply incremental profits development over numerous years. And Marchionne has talked of discovering ways to provide various other deluxe items under the Ferrari brand name, although it’s unclear exactly how rewarding that line of work might be.

In truth, several investors will certainly be brought in– at least in the beginning– by the love of having the ability to possess a bit of the best auto brand name of all. (Wall surface Road specialists are not immune to that romance– in reality, en masse they could be much more susceptible to it compared to most.)

But what’s the situation for Ferrari as a lasting investment? We could recognize more after the firm starts its pre-IPO ‘roadway show’, possibly as quickly as following week. But today, it’s tough to see where the development originates from– and also as much as your simple Fool likes Ferrari’s cars, I’m still skeptical of the business as an investment.