In 2018, Prodware had satisfactory EBITDA in a challenging transformation to SaaS. Conversely, free cash flow was disappointing due to a deterioration in the collection of trade receivables in Q4 18, a strong increase in capex due to the renovation of the headquarters and agencies within the group. Management confirmed the focus on the development of SaaS revenue, margin improvement and higher free cash flow by the end of the strategic programme 2016-21.
Companies: Prodware SA
EBITDA margin increase anticipated based on good revenue.
CHANGE IN TARGET PRICE€ 15.5 vs 15.4 +0.72%
The adjustment of the target price is related to the fine-tuning of our model (see our comments on the change of 2018E EPS).
The share price has recovered since the beginning of the year 2019 (+10% ytd) but has underperformed the software sector (+12.3% ytd) (situation on 25 February 19). The stock is trading at low PE ratios (<8x 2018E and <7x 2019E based on a cautious outlook) and could appreciate further when 2018 earnings are released (11 March 19).
CHANGE IN EPS2018 : € 1.69 vs 1.61 +4.58%
2019 : € 1.75 vs 1.75 -0.08%
The upwards revision of 2018E EPS is due to revenue above expectation (€175.9m vs. €172.2m estimated), thanks to a strong Q4. In 2018, Group EBITDA is now estimated to €32.8m (vs. €32.1m previously), corresponding to a margin rate of 18.6% of revenue (+0.3pt yoy).
CHANGE IN NAV€ 23.0 vs 21.9 +4.95%
The NAV is based on EV/Sales multiples to value both operating segments, i.e. 2.0x for the Infrastructures and SaaS and 0.8x for the Own Software Solutions in Integration of Business Software Solutions. The upgrade of the NAV is due to the switch to 2019E revenue.
In Q4 18, revenue growth (+10.7% on constant scope) was above expectation and benefited also from a low comparative in Q4 17 (-16.7% on constant scope). Prodware had record SaaS revenue growth (+45.9%) following a weak Q3 18 (+2%). Geographically, there was a good development in International (c.+11%), in particular in Benelux (+23.6%) which integrated the Microsoft Dynamics business acquired from CTAC in the Netherlands.
The decrease in revenue by -1.2% on a constant perimeter was broadly in line with expectation; note last year’s high comparative (+3% on constant scope in Q3 17). Software editing and integration were satisfactory overall while SaaS revenue decelerated strongly in Q3 18 following two buoyant quarters. We see this as temporary and not calling into question SaaS future growth since the expansion of SaaS is structural in the software market.
The strong EBITDA margin (21.1% of revenue) resulted from revenue growth, management of subcontracting, the transformation to the SaaS mode and also no restructuring costs, all offsetting the surge in staff costs related to the recruitment of people with greater expertise to meet customer demand.
Revenue growth accelerated above expectations at constant scope in Q2 18 (+6.9% following +4.9% in Q1 18). Growth was driven by the international markets which benefited from the signature of a large number of contracts based on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 online platform. The development of the SaaS model, a source of recurring revenue, continued at high double-digit growth. In H1 18, SaaS revenue represented 17.4% of the total (+3.1pts).
Prodware is making progress with its strategy to refocus the company on profitable business lines and cloud-based solutions. This is reducing revenues in the short term but should ultimately result in higher recurring revenues and more sustainable profitability. We have revised our forecasts to reflect current trading and the transition to subscription-based revenues. On our reduced forecasts, Prodware continues to trade at a discount to peers; growth in recurring revenues combined with margin expansion should start to narrow this discount.
The Q1 revenues release shows that with revenues of €42.5m in Q1 Prodware continues to make solid progress (+2.6% Q1 on Q1 underlying growth) and that there are also signs of a turnaround in the Benelux and all important German markets. The €79m debt restructuring post year-end leaves Prodware well financed to achieve its ambitious medium-term growth objectives. The shares, however, continue to trade on substantial and undeserved multiple discounts to comparators.
Prodware is well positioned both to grow revenues and to drive sales of its higher-margin software, rather than its integration services. The integration and restructuring of the Qurius acquisition is now complete and the balance sheet has been restructured. Furthermore, management is once again focusing on growth, as evidenced by the stated intent to grow revenues to €300m by 2020, the Prodware Academy programme, the creation of the Business Consulting division and the open desire to make acquisitions. Despite this potential, the shares trade at significant sales and earnings multiple discounts relative to European comparators.
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As a nation, we love knocking ourselves. However in truth, we’re actually a pretty pioneering bunch. For instance, the experts at Oxford University & AstraZeneca have developed one of the world’s 3 most important vaccines in double quick time. Plus, many other British firms are creating similar breakthrough Covid inventions, such as Kromek.
Companies: Kromek Group Plc
H1A delivered a very resilient performance given the backdrop of halted deliveries and reduced manufacturing capacity. Orders and shipments are resuming and a ramp up in activity levels is expected in H2. A cash outflow in H1A has been supported by new committed facilities and gross cash levels look set to support the business successfully through the second half and beyond.
Gamesys has reported a positive pre-close trading update. Strong momentum continued into Q420 and management now expects FY20 pro forma revenue and adjusted EBITDA will be at or above the upper end of current market expectations. We increase our FY21 and FY22 adjusted EBITDA forecasts by 4–6% due to higher revenue growth from a larger active customer base, and a higher and stable EBITDA margin that reflects ongoing investment in growing a sustainable business with a focus on responsible gambling. On our new forecasts, the free cash flow (FCF) yield for FY21e is 10.1% and the dividend yield is 3.0%.
Companies: Gamesys Group PLC
WEY Educaon (WEY) – Corporate – Trading significantly ahead; strong momentum prompts new ’21/’22E forecast
Touchstar (TST) – Corporate – Update points to a robust trading performance and strong cash generaon in the year
Companies: Wey Education PLC (WEY:LON)Touchstar plc (TST:LON)
Instem has delivered a positive trading update for the year to 31 December 2020 – revenue growth was “in excess of 11%”, suggesting a performance in line with our estimates, and net cash appears to have ended the year extremely strongly, with a figure of £26.7m vs our expectation of £22.4m.
Companies: Instem plc
iEnergizer announced the proposed payment of a special dividend worth 49.4p ($0.668) per share. The group has stated the stock will go ex-div on 14th January 2021, with a pay date of 5th February 2021. At a total value of £94m ($127m), this dividend represents a significant payout for shareholders, c.13% of Group's market cap of £730m. We acknowledge this to be a clear signal of confidence in the growth trajectory and current operations.
Companies: iEnergizer Limited
Instem has delivered another year of double digit revenue growth, in line with expectations. Progress has been made across all three business streams, buoyed by strong demand from new and existing customers. A key highlight is cash generation, with Y/E net cash £3.2m better than expectations at £26.7m (pre-IFRS16). The outlook remains positive, with further organic growth opportunities in areas such as SEND exploitation and Informatics. The company remains in active discussions with a number of acquisition targets following the £15.0m fundraise in July. The valuation remains extremely undemanding and we continue to see significant upside potential for a business with multiple organic and acquisitive growth opportunities.
Strong Q4 performance from Audioboom plc, the leading global podcast company, as it continues to outpace the global podcasting market. Audioboom bounced back from the Q2 CV-19 lull in Q3 and growth accelerated in the final quarter. Q4 revenue of c. $8.5m was a record, up 25% on the same period last year and the previous record, and FY20 revenue of c. $26.8m (+20%) was comfortably ahead of forecast (ACLe: $25.5m). There were also record KPI performances (brand count, eCPM and available ad inventory). Coupled with continued cost control, adj. EBITDA loss fell to c. $0.2m in Q4 and c. $1.8m for FY20 (FY19: $2.9m, ACLe: $1.9m). The company has good access to capital ($6.6m at year end) and management expects to achieve a maiden positive adj. EBITDA for FY21. We introduce FY21 forecasts and set a fair value of 420p/share, equivalent to an FY20 EV/Revenue of 3.3x and 2.5x FY21. Although a premium to the current price, this still represents a significant discount to recent industry transaction multiples.
Companies: Audioboom Group PLC
Touchstar is a supplier of mobile data computing solutions and managed services to a variety of industrial sectors. The group has this morning released a year-end update, pointing to the fact that the Board expects to report a profitable outcome for the year (H1 2020A PBT £130k, PAT £150k). Importantly, the positive cash generation seen in H1 2020A has continued into H2, with Touchstar ending the year with a net cash position of £1.6m (gross cash £1.9m), a further increase of £300k from that reported at 30th June.
Companies: Touchstar plc
Cornish Metals (TSX-V: CUSN) intends to list on AIM. The Company is proposing to raise £5 million by way of private placement of new Common Shares (the "Fundraising") to advance the United Downs copper-tin project. The Company expects that Admission will become effective in February 2021. The Company's Common Shares will continue to be listed and trade on the TSX-V in Canada. Further media reports that Dr Martens, the British Boot brand is planning an IPO on the LSE. It is currently owned by PE group, Permira who is expected to sell down its stake at the IPO. March 2020 YE the group had revenues of £672m and EBITDA of £184m. Deal size TBC. VH Global Sustainable Energy Opportunities plc, a closed-ended investment Company focused on making sustainable energy infrastructure investments, today announces intends to launch an initial public offering of shares on the Official List (Premium) of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Due by Early Feb. Moonpig, the digital greeting card company, is planning an IPO with a potential valuation of £1bln, according to multiple media reports. Further details expected to be announced over the next two weeks.
Companies: ZPHR PANR PRSM SENS CYAN G4M ITX CRCL FEN ZIN
Tern plc* (TERN.L, 7.1p/£23.5m) Portfolio update: Strong business momentum (12.01.21) | Audioboom plc* (BOOM.L, 276p/£43.3m) Expanded content network (15.01.21)
Companies: Tern Plc (TERN:LON)Audioboom Group PLC (BOOM:LON)
ZOO’s H1 FY21 included a tumultuous few months as COVID-19 effectively shut off work on new media content production which impacted subtitling projects, but studios rapidly adopted Cloud-based dubbing and the group’s digital packaging business enjoyed a dramatic rebound in fortunes. We note the positive commentary in today’s RNS and upgrade our FY21E and FY22E estimates to reflect the recent performance and, in particular, the exceptionally strong H2 trading that the group is enjoying.
Companies: ZOO Digital Group plc
Earnings in H1A were better than flat and H2E has got off to a good start. Margins are up and so too is recurring revenue as proportion of total business. First half order deferrals are now materialising and renewals are positive. Free cash generation was strong and the outlook is positive. We see no fundamental reason for the recent share price underperformance and we reiterate our Buy recommendation.
Companies: Shearwater Group plc
GB Group (GBG) has sold its marketing services business to HH Global Group for an undisclosed amount. This was not an area of focus for GBG and has been in managed decline for several years. Just before Christmas, GBG boosted its Fraud business with the acquisition of fraud investigation automation software from HooYu for £4m in equity. We have revised our forecasts to reflect the disposal and acquisition, leading to small upgrades to our EPS forecasts. Both deals emphasise the company’s strategy to focus on Identity, Location and Fraud.
Companies: GB Group PLC
Material acceleration of strategic plan
Companies: MelodyVR Group PLC