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Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on EDF. We currently have 19 research reports from 1 professional analysts.

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FY16 ahead of expectations. Weak guidance and lower dividend payments expected

  • 14 Feb 17

The company published its FY16 results which missed expectations on the revenue side with a 5.1% yoy decrease, but EBITDA reached the upper range of the revised expectations at €16.4bn (-6.7% yoy). The positive effect came from other activities, which includes services, trading, and renewables as together these showed a 22% increase in EBITDA. Operating income contracted by 3.4% due to higher provisions on the nuclear side from a 30bp reduction in the discount rate to 4.2%, generating an increase in provisions of €1,342m and €680m in financial expenses. However, adjusted net income, including hybrid payment, is ahead of expectations as it reached €3.5bn, which represents a 15% yoy contraction but is still 3.5% better than expected, representing an EPS of €1.77/share, 14% ahead of expectations. Reported net debt remained stable at €37.4bn, which is a positive, although operating cash flows decreased by 12.6% yoy to €11.1bn. Free cash flow continues to be on the negative side, but has decreased to €-1.6bn despite the scrip dividend payment. In 2016, the company will pay €2.1bn in dividends (scrip), or €1.06/share. This is above expectations and corresponds to a 60% payout ratio. For the coming years, EDF has reduced dividend payments with a payout ratio maintained for 2017 at 55-65%, but decreased to 50% in 2018, and 45-50% thereafter. In terms of guidance, this is weak as the group expects EBITDA to be in the €13.7-14.3bn range in 2017, and at €15.2bn in 2018, which is in line with our expectations, but below market forecasts. The neutral free cash flow by 2018 does not include the dividend payment, which implies a slight downward revision from previous guidance.

Concerns over French security of supply and carbon tax application

  • 21 Oct 16

According to the press, the French government will most likely drop the current carbon tax plans. The government was planning to apply a carbon tax only to coal generation assets, but there are growing concerns over the measure being too complicated to implement given that it will be applied only to some assets. If implemented, it might be unconstitutional and not be accepted by the European Commission given that it can be considered state help for EDF in order to boost power prices and improve the profitability of lower emission assets. Moreover, EDF has been forced once again by the nuclear regulator (ASN) to close five additional nuclear reactors by the year-end to perform additional tests on the reactor vessel and steam generator of these reactors. With a third of the nuclear park already stopped in the country, there are increasing doubts over EDF’s ability to cover its supply needs over the winter and this has once again boosted wholesale prices across Europe. Driven by a spike in French wholesale electricity prices (as they are currently above the €70/MWh level) and an expected lower production from its nuclear fleet, EDF has demanded both the Minister of Economy and the Minister of the Environment and Energy to apply a temporary suspension of the ARENH mechanism (a regulated price given to competitors to buy nuclear electricity, set around €42/MWh). As a result, concerns over security of supply and a tight reserve margin for the coming winter have emerged and the output from coal and gas plants has more than doubled in recent weeks due to lower nuclear production. On the other hand, and despite the expected outages, EDF has maintained its nuclear production targets (which were already reduced twice in 2016) at 380-390TWh for 2016 and 390-400TWh for 2017. Moreover, EDF has finally provided the timeline for the five nuclear reactors outages that will be stopped for the additional testing demanded by the ASN: the period will be mainly (for four reactors) during the holiday season from 10 December 2016 to 15 January 2017, with one reactor stopped from 22 October 2016 to 19 December 2016.