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Consensus eps falling…falling…falling…rising 2.0
29 Apr 16
In January we screened for companies with estimates that had been declining consistently since a year previously, but which had risen in the immediately preceding three months (see our note dated 22 January 2016). We have reviewed the performance of those companies and, given the overall strength of this selection, we have re-run the screen. In the c.3 months since selection, the unweighted average rise was c.34% against a c.11% rise in the main All-Share index. From the same universe as before (some 900 companies) we find 38 companies selected by the screen. We note a number of stocks in the list where we have a supportive stance including: Devro (DVO LN, Buy), James Fisher (FSJ LN, Corporate), Mattioli Woods (MTW LN, Buy) and Spirent Communications (SPT LN, Buy).
Q1: Good quarter driven by the Americas and an improved China
20 Oct 16
Pernod’s Q1 update: sales grew organically +4% (cons. +2.7%). OG by division: Europe +6% (cons. +2%, +2% restated for technical impact), the Americas +8% (cons. +2.8%), Asia/ROW +0% (cons. +2.5%). On reported figures, sales were up +1% (FX: -3%). OG by category: International brands +3% (vs. 2% last year), Strategic Local brands +5% (in line with last year), Wines -1%. The company highlighted the good performance in the US and India, early signs of improvement in China, and a difficult Africa & Middle East (due to macro and geopolitical situations) and Travel retail in Asia & Europe. The company maintained its FY guidance: 2-4% organic growth in profit from recurring operations.
Q2 above expectations lifted by the US and China
18 Oct 16
H1 update: sales grew organically +4.1% (cons. +2.4%, Q2: +7.4%). On reported figures sales were up +2.5% (FX: -1.6%). H1 performance by division: Remy Martin +5.1% (cons. +3.1%), L&S +5.1% (cons. +2.3%), Partner brands -3.1% (cons. -1.3%). The company maintained its FY guidance: improvement in current operating profit, assuming constant FX and scope of consolidation.
H1: going according to plan
13 Oct 16
Suedzucker’s Q2 and H1 update: in H1 sales were down 3.8% (Q2: -6%). The operating margin improved by 250bp (to 6.5%, Q2: 6.2%). All divisions improved their margins vs. last year (Sugar +370bp, Special products +140bp, CropEnergies +190bp, Fruits +80bp). Sugar profitability in Q2 was positive (2.6%) which is a confirmation of the trend seen in Q1. Net profit for the period was up to €155m (vs. €85.4m last year). As a reminder, the group expects FY sales to be c. €6.4-6.6bn and operating profit €340-390m.
Q3: Transition in China weighs on results
18 Oct 16
Q3 update: sales grew lfl +2.1% (cons. +2.4%) with -0.7% volume growth and +2.8% pricing. On reported figures, sales were down 1.8% (FX: -4.1%, scope of consolidation +0.2%). OG by division: Fresh Dairy +2.2% (cons. +2.5%), Waters -0.1% (cons. +1%), Early Life Nutrition +1.7% (cons. +2.5%), Medical Nutrition +9.7% (cons. +7%). Fresh dairy saw stronger pricing +4.2% on the back of negative volumes in the CIS and LatAm regions. Waters were impacted by the transition phase and floods in China (excluding China, the Waters performance is up mid single-digit). The Early Life Nutrition performance was impacted by tough comparables and the transition from an indirect to a direct sales model in China (excluding indirect sales, ELN was up mid single-digit in China). Medical Nutrition’s excellent performance was driven across all geographies. The company maintains its FY guidance: 3-5% organic top-line growth and 50-60bp lfl improvement in the operating margin, although the top-line is likely to be in the lower range of this.