Research, Charts & Company Announcements
Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on Cohort. We currently have 41 research reports from 4 professional analysts.
Cohort has delivered a strong first half performance, with healthy like-for-like growth in revenues, and adjusted operating profit augmented by the initial first half contribution from Chess. With a record period-end order book of £207m, prospects remain bright and management expects to meet market expectations for FY20. The strong balance sheet supports the agile growth strategy and is facilitating the proposed €11.3m acquisition of ELAC Nautik from Wärtsilä Corporation which, we estimate, should enhance EPS by around 7% in a full year following completion. Even before the potential uplift from ELAC, the FY21e P/E of 15.8x does not look demanding against defence peers given the progression of the strategy.
Cohort’s AGM statement indicates the current year has progressed well, with order cover of sales for the year rising to 76% following recent September orders compared to 60% at the same point of FY19. The order backlog at 31 August 2019 increased by over 10% since the year end to a record £210.9m (FY19 £190.9m) and the pipeline of potential business remains healthy. We maintain our earnings estimates, which means the shares are trading on an FY21e P/E of 12.6x, a significant and unwarranted discount to UK defence peers.
SEC S.p.A. Adm ission is follow ing a reverse takeover under Rule 14 by SEC S.p.A of Porta Com m unications plc, another AIM quoted company. No funds being raised. Due 4 September. Mkt cap c £9.9m. The merger will create a business with global fee income of around €80m and a host of PR agencies, including Newgate, Publicasity and Newington.
Companies: OPM PPIX MATD RENX JSG SOLI QIL ECHO LVCG CHRT
Cohort delivered another year of growth in what remained quite a constrained defence spending environment in its domestic markets. The recently acquired Chess Technologies delivered a stronger than expected performance in its initial period of consolidation, helping to mitigate the slippage of profits into FY20 at EID as an export contract was signed too late to be shipped in FY19. The record order intake and stronger backlogs across the group provide a solid foundation for growth, enhanced by a full-year contribution from Chess. Our EPS estimates are marginally reduced for FY20, but we expect stronger growth and cash flows in FY21. The FY21e P/E of 11.3x remains below UK defence sector peers despite the continued positive progress of the group.
Interswitch, a Nigeria-based payments firm, has hired advisers to resurrect plans for a stock-market listing in London and Lagos later this year, which may value the financial technology company at $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion. Voyager AIR The Company will focus on the acquisition, leasing and management of primarily widebody aircraft, with asset management services to be provided by Amedeo Limited the IPO will comprise a Placing and Offer for Subscription of Shares to raise up to approximately US$200m. Roxi Music UK music streaming service plans London IPO as it goes up against Spotify. They have appointed investment bank Arden Partners for an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange later this year.
Companies: DX/ BKS SIR SMRT DOTD SEE GAN UOG RENX CHRT
SDX Energy plc—a North Africa focused oil and gas company, announces its intention to complete a Canadian plan of arrangement under section 192 of the Canada Business Corporations Act and will have shares de-listed from the TSX-V and admitted to trading on AIM. Expected 28 May 2019, anticipated market cap of £76m Renold plc—a leading international supplier of industrial chains and related power transmission products, announced that it will cancel the listing of the Company from the premium segment and apply for admission on AIM. Expected 06 June 2019. Distribution Finance Capital Holdings plc — specialist lender which builds relationships with manufacturers and then provides working capital solutions up and down their supply chains to drive their growth is looking to join AIM. No raise, secondary offering of £19.8m at 90p, expected market cap of £95.98m. Expected 09 May 2019. Alumasc Group plc, the premium building products, systems and solutions group, has announced its intention to move from the Premium Segment of the main market to AIM. Expected market cap of £33.4m. Expected 25 June 2019
Companies: MCL IQE CER HAYD DAL SIS PGH ZYT CHRT JWNG
As anticipated at the H119 results, order intake for Cohort remained strong through the second half of the year. With the addition of Chess, the backlog at the year end should stand at more than £175m, comfortably a record for the group. It represents c 1.3 years of revenues based on our FY20 expectations and while many of the contracts are multi-year, it does provide increased sales cover for the medium term. Cohort continues to deliver against its growth strategy, appears to be largely insulated from Brexit concerns and still trades on an undemanding P/E multiple.
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: INSE CPP GOAL SLN DEST CHRT BMV UKOG GTC GHT
Following a challenging first half, Cohort has seen excellent order intake in recent months. These underpin anticipated sales for H219 and provide longer-term visibility through some significant multi-year agreements. In addition, the company has bought Chess Technologies, broadening the geographic reach and product range while augmenting growth prospects. The purchase is aligned with the agile growth strategy and was financed through cash and the recently renewed bank facility. Having strongly outperformed its UK defence peers over the last 12 months, the FY20e P/E of 10.7x represents a discount of around 18% to its UK defence peers.
Kropz, an emerging plant nutrient producer with an advanced stage phosphate mining project in South Africa, a phosphate project in the Republic of Congo and exploration assets in Ghana, is looking to join AIM. Offer TBC, expected late Nov Titon holdings—international manufacturer and supplier of ventilation systems and window and door hardware. No capital raise. Due 10 Dec. Mkt cap c.£22m. Greenfields Petroleum (TSX-V:GNF) production focused company with operated assets in Azerbaijan seeking AIM dual listing including $60m private placement. Mkt cap $12.6m CAD Finncap—proposed acquisition of M&A adviser Cavendish Corporate Finance and AIM admission. Offer TBA. Due early Dec Crossword Cybersecurity PLC* (NEX:CCS)—the technology commercialisation company focusing exclusively on the cyber security sector is investigating the possibility of AIM admission. The Company is proposing to raise up to £2.25 million before the end of December, conditional on Admission. The Panoply parent company of a digitally native technology services group founded in 2016 with the aim of identifying and acquiring best-of-breed specialist information technology and innovation consulting businesses across Europe, is looking to join AIM. Offer TBC, expected late November 2018.
Companies: BMV HW/ KGH PLUS TPG 9537 CHRT IKA MNO BRD
The positive order intake news continues for Cohort. It has announced a further £3.2m contract for MASS to provide business analysis support to the UK’s MOD. In addition, the Portuguese subsidiary EID has won export contracts worth €11m for vehicle intercom systems for two existing customers. The EID contracts include successful acquisition of one of the five potential order opportunities previously indicated in the AGM update. Cohort continues to see improving overall group order inflow, which underpins the outlook for the businesses through FY19 as well as in the medium term. The shares have been performing well in a challenging stock market, and the current FY20e P/E of just 12.3x remains undemanding in our view.
Kropz, an emerging plant nutrient producer with an advanced stage phosphate mining project in South Africa, a phosphate project in the Republic of Congo and exploration assets in Ghana, is looking to join AIM. Offer TBC, expected late Nov Titon holdings—international manufacturer and supplier of ventilation systems and window and door hardware. No capital raise. Due 10 Dec. Mkt cap c.£22m. Greenfields Petroleum (TSX-V:GNF) production focused company with operated assets in Azerbaijan seeking AIM dual listing including $60m private placement. Mkt cap $12.6m CAD Finncap—proposed acquisition of M&A adviser Cavendish Corporate Finance and AIM admission. Offer TBA Crossword Cybersecurity PLC* (NEX:CCS)—the technology commercialisation company focusing exclusively on the cyber security sector is investigating the possibility of AIM admission. The Company is proposing to raise up to £2.25 million before the end of December, conditional on Admission.
Companies: POLX ADL EVRH FEN CHRT OMIP CRU TRX SAR AFHP
Cohort’s largest division, MASS, has been selected as the preferred bidder for a £50m, eight-year contract for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). Success would represent an extension of a core activity that has been undertaken by MASS since 2000. As it was competitively tendered, the down-select also verifies Cohort’s credentials in the provision of in-service support for the MOD. The announcement represents another encouraging sign that Cohort is successfully underpinning its medium- to long-term workloads in its service contracting activities.
The announcement of a €4.8m vehicle communications contract win for the Portuguese Army is in addition to the prospects indicated at the AGM on 11 September. It suggests that positive order book momentum is building as we approach the H118 period end. The shares have continued to perform well since the prelims in July, but remain on a relatively undemanding FY20e P/E of 12.5x.
Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on Cohort. We currently have 41 research reports from 4 professional analysts.
|12Dec19 07:00||RNS||Cohort Acquires Wärtsilä ELAC Nautik GmbH|
|12Dec19 07:00||RNS||Half Year Results|
|12Nov19 16:22||RNS||Holding(s) in Company|
|07Nov19 16:01||RNS||Holding(s) in Company|
|24Oct19 10:06||RNS||Director/PDMR Shareholding|
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Augean has announced the renewal and extension of the Group’s banking facilities and also that it has paid all outstanding and disputed HMRC Landfill Tax assessments totalling £40.4m, including accrued interest. Management reaffirms it will continue to robustly challenge all HMRC assessments based on legal advice that the Group has correctly collected and paid appropriate landfill tax. The HMRC payment allows management to focus on the strategic development of the Group and provides investors with a much cleaner basis for valuation.
Zytronic’s FY19 results (to September) are in line with expectations, confirming a customary improvement in H2 activity. As highlighted previously, a decline in Gaming volumes was the key driver of a 10% decline in Group revenue during the year. There is some near term caution in the statement with trading in the first two months behind the prior year. Our FY20 PBT forecast reduces by 29% as a result. Nevertheless, the pipeline is substantially higher than last year, underpinning medium term confidence. The dividend will no doubt be a focus for investors. This was maintained at 22.8p for the full year (11.8% yield), and the future policy is under consideration by the Board. On our revised forecasts, the shares are trading on 14.5x P/E with £13m net cash.
The arbitration decision splits responsibility for the design information. Trading elsewhere is in line with expectations.
Companies: Costain Group
In the process of upgrading its group-wide ERP system, XP Power suffered some short-term disruptions to shipments from mid-October to mid-November. While shipments have returned to normal levels, the company expects a revenue shortfall of c £6m for FY19, with a consequent impact on earnings. We have revised our FY19 forecasts resulting in a 10.7% reduction in our normalised EPS forecast. As order intake has been robust so far this quarter, we maintain our FY20 estimates.
Companies: XP Power
Driver delivered PBT of £3.0m in FY19 (FY18: £3.8m). Whilst this is a decrease on the prior year, the Group delivered a strong improvement in half on half earnings, with PBT of £2.2m in H2 vs. £0.8m in H1. This improvement was primarily a result of cost savings throughout the second half which should benefit FY20. Importantly, the positive momentum in H2 has continued into the new financial year, with two months of strong trading already achieved. We maintain our FY20 PBT forecast at £3.7m and we would expect a more even H1/H2 weighting. We also introduce an FY21 forecast, which implies continued earnings growth. The balance sheet remains strong (net cash of £5.4m) and, with a promising business pipeline, we expect a return to growth in FY20.
Companies: Driver Group
discoverIE’s H1 results confirm it is making continued good progress with its strategy to build its design and manufacturing (D&M) business. Underlying organic group revenue growth of 5% was boosted by higher margin acquisitions and the group is fast approaching its mid-term operating margin target. Targeting higher growth markets within D&M and focusing on efficiency in Custom Supply supports ongoing growth in revenues and profitability.
Companies: Discoverie Group
The organic growth rate and progress seen in the interim period is underpinned by the meaningful contracts signed over the last couple of years. The stock price rise is beginning to discount this growing momentum and we see further upside potential for the share price from multiple expansion and continued organic earnings growth.
Companies: Vianet Group
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Companies: OTMP SUS TPK
Interim results in line with expectations with 24% revenue growth, and strength at key accounts. We leave our full year earnings estimates unchanged and continue to expect FY20 FD EPS of 7.6p.
Companies: Mind Gym
After the recent H1 trading update included the comment that “the pipeline for acquisitive expansion also remains strong”, Gateley has announced the acquisition of T-three Group. T-three is a human capital consultancy business focused on leadership development and looks highly synergistic with Kiddy & Partners, the leadership consultancy bought in July 2018, as well as with Gateley’s core legal services activities in the employment area. The sum being paid (initial £3.17m plus a maximum £0.9m contingent on results to 30 September 2021, all amounts being 50% cash, 50% shares) and the pro-forma results achieved by T-three in the year to 30 September 2019 (Revenue of £4.2m and EBITDA of £0.7m) indicate a modest but immediate earnings enhancement. At this stage however we are not amending our estimates. We note that the initial payment includes c.£0.7m for excess working capital, such that the maximum total consideration on a zero cash, zero debt, normalised level of working capital basis is £3.4m.
The trade-off in the risk/reward for gold and gold mining equities is improving, as central banks push the current iteration of the post-World War II Bretton Woods financial order towards its limits.
Companies: AVO AJB AGY ARBB BUR CLIG DNL DPP FLTA GTLY GDR MCL MUR NSF PCA PIN ESRE PHP RE/ RECI RMDL STX SCE TON SHED VTA W7L
Xbox Series X to launch holiday 2020
Companies: BIDS FDEV CDM SUMO TM17 KWS GFIN
Following continued delays of a Brexit agreement, few sectors within the UK market have remained attractive to investors despite low valuations. One sector which has continued to outperform despite the political drama has been the UK video gaming sector (henceforth UK gaming), which we are fans of. We believe a combination of sector-leading growth, strong cash conversion and timely cyclical positioning support our positive view on the UK video gaming sector.
Companies: ABBY AMS ANX ARS ATYM AVON BLVN PIER BUR CGS CAML CDM CSRT TIDE CYAN DTG DEMG ELM EMR FPO FDEV GTLY GENL GHH GRI GEEC GKP HMI HAYD HEAD HILS HTG HUR IBPO IOG INDI JHD JOG KAPE KEYS KWS KCT KGH LAM LIT LOK MACF MANO MOD OXIG PCA PANR APP ESRE PHC PMO RBW RMM RBGP REDD RSW RNO ROR SUS SCPA SEN SHG SOLG SOM SUMO TM17 INCE TWD TRAK TRI VNET VTC ZOO ZTF
Solid State delivered an 11% pro forma increase in group revenues and a 60% jump in adjusted profit before tax during H120. While some of this increase was attributable to factors such as favourable forex, which management expects will reverse in H220, the group is showing a sustainable benefit from the acquisition of Pacer in November 2018 and a drive to higher margin added-value activities in the Manufacturing division. Management is confident of meeting consensus expectations for the year, which are broadly unchanged since the September upgrade. The shares continue to trade at a substantial discount to peers for prospective P/E.
Companies: Solid State