Secure Trust Bank (STB) reported H120 PBT of £5.1m (vs £18.1m a year ago) and a 3.0% ROE. Income grew 4% y-o-y, but impairments almost doubled, and payment holiday charges also hurt. STB notes that since the lockdown ended, business has been rebounding. Its robust capital (CET 13.5%), business model and proven agility allow it to react to the changing lending environment. STB currently trades on a P/BV of 0.49x, reflecting sentiment more than fundamentals given its profitability track record and successful model. Our fair value estimate is 1,704p per share, down from 2,428p..
Companies: Secure Trust Bank Plc
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.
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.
Companies: STB ADB TGP 7DIG GDR MERC MTW IGAS
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.
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Litigation Capital Management has announced FY20 results with gross profit up 7% to A$21.7m and PBT of A$9.2m, slightly behind expectations albeit the Group had already flagged that delays to 3 cases during the year would result in resolutions in FY21, thereby impacting FY20 results. That said, excellent strategic progress through the year and good news flow as well as increasing scale suggests more value to come. Reiterate buy
Companies: Litigation Capital Management Ltd.
To achieve YoY revenue growth over H1/20A despite the challenges of Covid-19 and its impact on the travel sector is testament to Equals' resilience and increasing focus on B2B and International payments services. While weaker gross profit and EBITDA margins have impacted profitability in H1/20, we see potential for an earnings recovery in H2/20 given cost reduction measures currently being undertaken. This should lead Equals to cash breakeven in Q4/20 and FCF positive by early FY21.
Companies: Equals Group Plc
FY20A results largely reflect a period prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, yet show Duke entering a more challenging FY21E with momentum. Yesterday's trading update demonstrated another notable rise in quarterly cash receipts for Q2/21, as royalty partner trading continues to improve. As some partners' forbearance measures will expire this month, Q3/21 receipts should continue this upwardly momentum. This opens the door to a return to cash dividends at some future point. Today, Duke also confirms it is now seeking new royalty partners, alongside follow-ons.
Companies: Duke Royalty
Interim results demonstrate YoY growth and a resilient outcome that has exceeded management's expectations from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is testament to the degree of recurring revenue generated across the business. FY21 trading looks to be more challenging, as notably lower new insurance sales post-lockdown will translate into lower premium income. A number of organic opportunities are being worked on to fill the shortfall. Rising UK redundancies and their impact on policyholder retentions creates great uncertainty, hence our forecasts remain withdrawn and recommendation remains Under Review.
Companies: Personal Group Holdings Plc
Sigma Capital (“Sigma”) has partnered with global alternatives manager EQT to deliver and manage a £1bn GDV private-rented sector (“PRS”) housing fund focused on Greater London. EQT will invest £300m equity, complemented by debt (including a Homes England facility), to build 3,000 homes in 5 years. Sigma will generate fee income as development manager, a recurring fee income stream from managing completed assets, as well as participation in returns via a minority co-investment (£16m) and a profit share. We estimate that the fee income alone is worth £45m to Sigma in the first five years: 50% of the current market cap. Crucially, this is a step up in AuM bringing a high quality long-term recurring earnings stream. We will reforecast following interim results (expected tomorrow) to provide full context.
Companies: Sigma Capital Group Plc
In June, faced with the task of replacing its longstanding portfolio manager, Alistair Mundy, Temple Bar Investment Trust’s (TMPL’s) board reiterated its commitment to a value style of investing. The board has now opted to hand the management contract to Nick Purves and Ian Lance of RWC Partners, two managers with considerable experience of managing income portfolios using a value-style approach. Value investing, where managers buy stocks that are valued more cheaply than market averages – based on measures such as price/earnings, price/book and yield – is deeply out of favour. The RWC team says that value stocks have never looked more unloved in the 30- odd years that they have been managing money. In their view, this makes it imperative that TMPL investors keep faith with the strategy and it also means this is an attractive entry point for new investors. One important change, however, is a cut to TMPL’s dividend to a level that the RWC team believes will be more sustainable.
Companies: Temple Bar Investment Trust
In line interim results to 30 June 2020 show the strength of this business amid a difficult environment. This is the first step in what should be an exciting growth trajectory toward a larger, scaled up business with high recurring revenues and ownership of the full supply chain in the personal injury and clinical negligence market for clients requiring long-term, risk-adjusted returns. We reiterate our TP of 50p, noting further upside potential as acquisitions are completed.
Companies: Frenkel Topping Group Plc
HSBC’s future should be clarified as soon as the US and China come back to the negotiation table. This will not happen before the US elections are over. In the meantime, HSBC will continue to be instrumentalised and its share price will remain under pressure.
Companies: HSBC Holdings Plc
Today's news & views, plus announcements from VOD, POLY, SMDS, BLND, BYG, WEIR, DC, SNR, SHI, INTU, IHR, CNC, ARE, INCE
Companies: INTU SHI INCE
The impressive full year 2019 results included some eye-catching numbers, including a record PBT of £40.1m (nearly 3x FY18 @ £14.3m), £620m of reserves acquired over 16 legacy deals, and $842m of (estimated) Contracted Premium in the Program business – on track to breach $1bn in FY20 as previously guided and $1.5bn-$2bn in 2022-2023.
Companies: Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd.
As anticipated, Record has confirmed a material uplift in AUME following the rebound in financial markets from April. We upgrade FY21E forecast EPS by +18%, with higher staff costs offsetting some of the benefit. We expect AUME growth to be more modest from herein. While no performance fees have been recognised over Q1/21 and will be harder to achieve due to Covid-19, any future recognition would have a materially positive impact on earnings. Covid has temporarily paused new client wins, but we expect further additions to come as conditions improve.
Companies: Record Plc
Mercia’s FY20 results reflect continued progress, delivering on management’s three-year strategy. AUM climbed 58% to £0.8bn, while FUM rose 73% to £658m. Following the acquisition of the NVM VCT fund management business, the company is operationally profitable on a monthly basis, with annual revenues exceeding operating costs for the first time in FY20. Net assets rose 12% to £141.5m, with the direct investment portfolio stalled at £87.5m reflecting the impact of COVID-19 fair value adjustments and a £15.7m net investment. The group remains well-placed for a downturn with £30m of unrestricted balance sheet cash and £320m of group cash. Post period end the group exited The Native Antigen Company, with £5.2m in cash (8.4x return, 65% IRR) expected. Despite the group’s progress, Mercia’s shares continue to trade at a material discount to NAV (0.60x), even before considering the embedded value of the third-party fund management business (> 4.5p at 3% of AUM).
Companies: Mercia Asset Management Plc
COVID-19 and a further cut to power price assumptions saw NAV per share fall to 309p in H120 (FY19: 337p). However, PPP performed well, bidding momentum has picked up recently and John Laing Group (JLG) expects ‘modest’ NAV growth in H2. New CEO Ben Loomes highlighted digital connectivity and energy transitions as potential future investment themes, and will set out further details in November. We cut our FY20 NAV per share forecast by 14% to 308p. The share price stands at an 8% discount to FY20e NAV per share.
Companies: John Laing Group Plc
Trident Royalties Plc (AIM: TRR) has, this morning, announced the acquisition of a 1.5% Net Smelter Royalty (NSR) over the resourcestage Lake Rebecca Gold Project located in the highly prospective Eastern Goldfields province in Western Australia. The royalty package is being acquired from a private seller for a total consideration of A$8.0 million (c. US$5.63 million), comprising of A$7.0 million in cash and A$1.0 million in new ordinary shares in Trident. The acquisition is Trident’s fifth overall and its third gold deal. As per strategic guidance the company is moving fast assembling a diversified portfolio with a paying cashflow stream from iron ore and copper production and several strategic gold royalties with the potential for near term revenues. The market is paying attention with TRR shares up 49.8% since its IPO on AIM in June this year. There is clearly more to come with c. US$7.5 million of uncommitted cash as well as the potential for debt funding and the ability to use equity as acquisition consideration. The Lake Rebecca Gold Project operated and wholly owned by Apollo Consolidated (ASX: AOP), is located 150km ENE of Kalgoorlie in the Eastern Goldfields Province of the Yilgarn Craton. The Project, envisaged as a simple open pit operation, is close to existing gold infrastructure namely Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited’s (ASX: SAR) Carosue Dam Operation whose processing plant is in the process of being upgraded to increase throughput to 3.2 Mtpa.
Companies: Trident Royalties Plc
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.
Companies: AGY ARBB ARIX BUR CMH CLIG DNL HAYD NSF PCA PIN PXC PHP RE/ RECI SCE SHED VTA