Secure Trust Bank’s (STB) FY19 figures were good, as already flagged in its trading update. Underlying ROE was 14.0% (FY18: 12.8%), EPS was up 10% y o y and capital remained comfortable (CET1 12.7%). However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant drop in business activity and impairments are expected to increase. STB has suspended forward guidance since March due to uncertainty relating to the pandemic and subsequent economic recovery. Its relatively short duration loan book, already cautious lending stance and good capital position should help. Financial markets turmoil has the bank trading on a 2019 P/BV of 0.65x despite a track record of delivering value creating ROE above its COE.
Companies: Secure Trust Bank
Secure Trust Bank (STB) is delaying the release of its FY19 results, due on 26 March, as requested by the FCA on account of COVID-19. It was aiming for double-digit earnings growth in 2020 and stated that its first two months of trading was strong and ahead of management expectations. COVID-19 uncertainty has nevertheless prompted STB to cancel its forward guidance and final 2019 dividend payment. We are maintaining our FY19 forecasts as the pre-close statement indicated that results would be in line with expectations. However, we are suspending our 2020â21 forecasts until there is more clarity on the impact of COVID-19. Our DDM fair value of 2,428p per share is equivalent to a P/NAV of 1.8x in 2019. This valuation reflected assumptions that STB would deliver returns considerably above its 10% cost of equity (COE) in the medium and long term.
Secure Trust Bank’s (STB) pre-close trading update indicates that FY19 results should be in line with expectations, despite the economic slowdown dampening loan demand in the second half of 2019. STB highlighted its strong control over risk while interest margins have been stable. The bank is cautiously optimistic about 2020 and is well positioned, with healthy capital, good liquidity and new business pipelines. STB does not envisage material changes to 2020 guidance, and we are maintaining our estimates and 2,428p per share valuation.
Secure Trust Bank’s (STB’s) trading update for Q319 had a reassuring tone. The business trends and ‘overall results are in line with management expectations’. Management noted that demand slowed in September, but this is not a surprise given Brexit deadline concerns. STB has been in de-risking mode for several quarters and has been repositioning its loan book in anticipation of economic and political uncertainties. At the same time, the short duration of its loan book allows it to respond quickly as the lending environment changes. We are not making changes to forecasts or our fair value of 2,428p per share.
Secure Trust Bank (STB) reported H119 adjusted pre-tax earnings up 14% y o y driven by volume growth and lower impairment rates. With a diversified lending model it has shown the ability to shift asset allocation significantly, de-risking and avoiding price pressures prevailing in some lending asset classes. By putting the brakes on early, STB is now reaping the rewards, with good profitability and the flexibility to adjust to macro and political changes.
Secure Trust Bank’s (STB) trading update seems to vindicate its decision to step away from mortgages for now and focus on segments where the risk-reward pricing is more attractive. The retail and motor finance segments (both with net revenue margins above 10%) have been doing well and earnings are slightly ahead of management expectations in the first four months of this year. We are not changing our forecasts, but may revise them if interims in July confirm the good news.
The FY18 results provide evidence that Secure Trust Bank’s (STB’s) strategy of combining de-risking and selective growth is working. Adjusted EPS rose 39% y-o-y while loan growth was a robust 27%; ROE increased from 8.9% to 13.1%. STB targets further strong growth in 2019 and is investing in areas such as a new motor finance platform, treasury and risk management to underpin this. STB has entered 2019 with good momentum, healthy capital and proven flexibility to adapt to opportunities and challenges that may occur in the macro and political environment.
Network International Holdings—Pleading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa region, operating across over 50 highly underpenetrated payment markets that contain a total population of 1.5 bn. 2018 rev $298m, underlying EBITDA $152m. Due April. No new funds to be raised. Secondary sell down. Targeting 25% of at least 25%. Techniplas –global producer and support services company providing highly engineered and technically complex components, making the supply chain to original equipment manufacturers more efficient. FYDec17 rev $515m.
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Secure Trust Bank’s (STB’s) pre-close trading update was encouraging, indicating it expects to deliver results in line with management’s and the market’s expectations. The bank has proposed a stop on new mortgage origination, unhappy with current price pressure and loan to value metrics, but does not expect this to have a material impact on 2018 and 2019 numbers. The bank sees itself entering 2019 with positive business momentum and robust capital and is well placed to continue its selected growth strategy despite the current political uncertainty.
STB’s Q318 trading update was upbeat. There are signs that the repositioning strategy is working, trading conditions are robust and it is on track to deliver guided earnings. The Tier 2 capital issue during the period added 268bp to capital, further positioning STB for future growth. Our estimates are unchanged (EPS growth 32% FY18). The shares now trade at PNAV of 1.2x, which compares favourably with our forecast ROTE.
H118 results show Secure Trust Bank (STB) is making good progress in shifting its loan mix into lower risk segments and where pricing is more attractive. Despite being in a transition phase, STB delivered strong momentum in loans (22% YoY) and PBT (+38%). Concerns regarding these asset mix changes and the transition drag on earnings have probably contributed to recent share price weakness and the current valuation suggests there is room for rerating as STB continues to deliver successfully on its strategy.
FY17 was a further year of change for Secure Trust Bank (STB) as management completed the shift away from unsecured consumer loans and reduced the risk profile in motor finance. This restricted near-term profits but the pace of loan book growth has remained strong and looks set to feed into substantial earnings growth as the cost of risk subsides, more than offsetting the lower returns earned on lower risk lending. The shares have begun to respond to this prospect following the results, but the valuation suggests further upside.
Secure Trust Bank (STB) remains on track with both its shift towards a lower risk loan book and near-term trading. The move to lower risk assets has trimmed returns, but loan book growth continues apace and the benefits in terms of revenue and impairments should become clear in FY18 and FY19, years in which we expect earnings growth of over 30%.
Secure Trust Bank’s (STB) first half results were a reminder that the reshaping of the loan book towards one with a lower risk profile does involve some pain. While lower asset yields from new business and maintained impairments from the back book pinch near-term returns, the potential growth of over 30% in FY18 and FY19 earnings is an indicator of gains to come on the back of a higher-quality, more diverse and resilient loan book.
Secure Trust Bank (STB) reported results that were close to expectations for 2016, a year that saw major changes as the group generated substantial profit from the Everyday Loans Group sale, gained independence and moved to the Main Market. At the same time there was substantial growth in the loan book contributing to underlying EPS growth of 20%. Looking ahead, there is scope for further organic growth but STB will also consider acquisitions on a disciplined basis. Both have the potential to contribute to a strengthening in the return on equity from the 2016 level of 11.9%, towards the return on required equity of nearly 20%.
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A number of REITs have the ability to thrive in current market conditions and thereafter. Not only do they hold assets that will remain in strong demand, but they have focus and transparency. The leases and underlying rents are structured in a manner to provide long visibility, growth and security. Hardman & Co defined an investment universe of REITs that we considered provided security and “safer harbours”. We introduced this universe with our report published in March 2019: “Secure income” REITs – Safe Harbour Available. Here, we take forward the investment case and story. We point to six REITs, in particular, where we believe the risk/reward is the most attractive.
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Equals' FY19A results confirm another year of strong, double-digit revenue and adj EBITDA growth. The move to a B2B focused offering continues to progress and looks well timed in view of Covid-19's impact on overseas travel. While the pandemic impacted Q2/20E trading early on, we note June KPI's indicate a positive rebound. Given the continued uncertainty as to Covid's full impact upon FY20E trading, we refrain from reissuing forecasts and thus leave our recommendation under review.
Companies: Equals Group
Accelerating activity in to FY21
Companies: Manolete Partners
Blackbird plc* (BIRD.L, 19.25p/£64.7m) | Mirada plc* (MIRA.L, 92.5p/£8.2m) | Tern plc* (TERN.L, 10.75p/£29.0m) | Checkit plc (CKT.L, 39.5p/£24.5m)
Companies: BIRD MIRA MIRA TERN CKT
Record delivered full year results matching expectations with assets under management equivalent (AUME) slightly ahead as positive inflows more than offset the impact of market moves and fee margins were broadly stable. The group also demonstrated its operational resilience and expertise to clients during the onset of COVID-19 and accompanying volatility. Looking ahead, the group has a fresh focus on growth and to support this is investing in a measured way in IT and its staff.
S4 Capital has announced the merger of Lens10, a leading Australian digital strategy & analytics consultancy, with MightyHive, its data & programmatic media practice. Founded in 2010, Lens10 provides a range of data services including digital strategy, digital analytics, optimisation and tag management. It is a certified Google Partner in Google Analytics, Google Cloud & Google Marketing Platform and is an Adobe Analytics partner. It has 25 data specialists in Melbourne and Sydney, and has a blue-chip client list including CottonOn, National Rugby League, Australian Ballet and ME Bank. Data analytics continues to grow in importance as marketers accelerate their digital transformation and S4 Capital indicates it has seen explosive demand for these services. No financial information has been disclosed, though we note the group reiterates its commitment not to compromise its balance sheet, which remains net cash. Separately, the group has announced that Miles Young, previously Chairman & CEO of Ogilvy, is joining the board. He has particular expertise in creative work and talent, new technologies and Asia Pacific developed over 35yrs at Ogilvy
Companies: S4 Capital
REACT Group plc (REACT) is exploiting a gap in the market for specialist deep cleaning services for customers in the public and private sectors, with revenues split 50/50 between reactive work and regular maintenance. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a significant upturn in activity in certain sectors (such as healthcare and transport) but temporarily weaker demand from others (such as hospitality). While its Covid-related work is by no means its biggest revenue generator, the legacy of the pandemic is likely to have a profound impact on future levels of activity as all businesses and organisations become more aware of the importance of maintaining high standards of cleanliness and hygiene. With a new management team and strengthened balance sheet, we believe the outlook is positive, a view that has been supported by the Group’s interim results which have generated maiden profits.
Companies: React Group
The covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the share price of property companies, with 31% wiped off the value of their total market capitalisation during the first quarter of 2020.
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Wirecard UK’s suspension by the FCA has been lifted, allowing U Account business through Shelby Holdings and Morses Club to resume as normal, permitting customers full access to cash, which was previously frozen, albeit ring-fenced in a safe Barclays UK account. Morses Club has offered its U Account customers free use of the previously affected U Account accounts in July as compensation for the issue, helping to mitigate any negative impact and ensuring the relationship with customers remains strong.
Companies: Morses Club
Hipgnosis Songs Fund (SONG LN) has today announced a trading update for the full year ending 31 March 2020. The unaudited NAV has risen 13% YoY to 116.7p, up 14.3% since the last published NAV of 102.2p as at 10 January 2020. This represents a like for like valuation uplift of 11.4%. All equity has been fully deployed and shareholder approval has been sought to increase net debt from 20% to 30%. Revenue is strong with £64.7m generating an EPS of 10.7p (more than 2x the annual 5p dividend target). NAV growth has been driven by revenue statements which were up 2%, and an increase in streaming growth rate assumptions by the independent valuers. The portfolio comprises 54 catalogues, with 13,291 individual songs, now valued at £757m which was acquired at purchase price of £697m on an acquisition multiple of 13.9x – now valued on 15.0x historical earnings.
Companies: Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ld
FY20 Interim results
Companies: Litigation Capital Management
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Gore Street has moved a meaningful proportion of its 900MW pipeline into exclusivity with agreements covering a 81MW operating site and a 50MW project in development, both in the GB market. These add to the recent announcements of projects in Scotland and near London. Power storage continues to offer the opportunity to acquire projects that will deliver the fund’s target 10% IRR and we think there is plenty more to go for.
Companies: Gore Street Energy Storage Fund
Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust’s (MNP’s) performance has improved considerably following the appointment of manager Zehrid Osmani on 1 October 2018, since when he has refined the trust’s investment process. MNP has now outperformed its benchmark over the last one, three, five and 10 years. The manager focuses on high-conviction positions and his long-term horizon helps navigate short-term market volatility. MNP has performed well despite a lack of exposure to the high-profile, large-cap US technology stocks that have led the market. Osmani has generated alpha by investing in some mid-cap stocks that are not particularly well followed, such as US company Masimo (non-invasive patient monitoring technologies), which is now the largest position in the portfolio.
Companies: Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust
The group’s final results were broadly in line with our forecasts, with an 11% increase in revenue, marginally lower than expected profitability, and an 11% increase in the proposed dividend.