Edison Investment Research is terminating coverage on ADMIE Holdings (ADMIE), AJ Lucas Group (AJL), Australis Capital (AUSA), Elbit Medical Technologies (EMTC), Focusrite (TUNE) and PPHE Hotel Group (PPH). Please note you should no longer rely on any previous research or estimates for this company. All forecasts should now be considered redundant.
Previously published reports can still be accessed via our website.
Companies: Focusrite Plc
Focusrite’s revenue has been driven by acquisitions against a period of tough comparatives for the core brands. Current trading looks more encouraging for the majority of the brands, which is leading to gross margin improvements and a better outlook for EBITDA margin. We upgrade EBITDA forecasts for FY20e and FY21e by c 7%, but a higher tax rate in FY21 limits EPS upgrades in that year. For FY20e, an EV/EBITDA of 15.4x and a P/E of 24.9x are above long-term averages.
Focusrite has issued a reassuring trading update for H120. Sales growth is in line with expectations, against a tough comparative. With the majority of sourcing from Asia, there had been fears about its ability to continue sourcing product to satisfy consumer demand, which still looks ‘buoyant’, but deliveries have resumed quickly. Our underlying forecasts are unchanged, but we incorporate the acquisition of Martin Audio, leading to EPS upgrades of 1% for FY20 and 7% for FY21. The recent de-rating has brought multiples back towards historic averages: EV/EBITDA for FY20e of 12.2x (average of 11.1x) and P/E for FY20e of 19.5x (average of 17.8x).
Focusrite has announced its largest ever acquisition, Martin Audio, for c £35.2m net, following the announcement of the acquisition of ADAM Audio in July 2019 for £16.2m. The acquisition diversifies Focusrite into a complementary market that is growing, is profitable and cash generative. The AGM trading statement indicates that Q1 trading is line with expectations. Our forecasts remain unchanged until the acquisition, stated to be earnings accretive by management, completes.
Companies: SDI B90 AQX VLG TWD PHC TUNE CIR WSG BIDS
Focusrite has delivered strong FY19 results, highlighting improved revenue momentum with a favourable reception of new product releases, better-than-expected margin delivery and encouraging trading on its first major acquisition since IPO, ADAM Audio. We increase our underlying assumptions for FY20 to reflect the improved trading and gross margin benefits from a shift in sourcing, but forex translation (notably strengthening sterling versus the euro) tempers the upgrade to c 4% for FY20. Our DCF-based valuation increases to 618p from 544p.
Despite macroeconomic headwinds, in its closing update Focusrite has confirmed consensus beating FY19 revenue (c £84m vs our forecast £79.8m) and EBITDA, reflecting the success of its global growth strategy and strength of the brands. The launch of the third-generation Scarlett product ranges in July has been well received, with further significant releases anticipated in H1 FY20. After including the recent £16.2m acquisition of ADAM Audio, net cash stood at £14.9m (FY18: £22.8m). We raise our FY19 and FY20 PBT forecasts by 4% and 3% respectively.
MRYT PHARMA PLC— a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and delivering innovative new treatments to help improve the lives of patients with rare or orphan diseases have raised $60m before expenses and will relist on the AIM Market on the 25/09/2019
Companies: LID OVB HMLH TUNE AMPH DGOC ANIC UKOG BIOM PRP
Focusrite has announced the €18.0m strategic acquisition of ADAM Audio, a leading German developer and global distributor of professional studio monitor loudspeakers, funded entirely from existing cash resources. Although continuing to operate as an autonomous subsidiary, we see clear opportunities to cross-sell to Focusrite’s global customer base of amateur and professional music markers and to leverage its distribution network. We increase our forecast FY20e PBT by 5% to £13.3m and raise our DCF-based valuation to 530p per share (previously 471p).
In this video Tim Carroll, CEO of Focusrite, the global music and audio products company supplying hardware and software products used by professional and amateur musicians, discusses how the company has continued to grow earnings and cash over the first half of the year against record prior-year comparatives. He also explains the importance of innovation and R&D for Focusrite as a market leader and disruptor, alongside opportunities for further geographical expansion and use of the company’s substantial cash balance for strategic acquisitions.
Focusrite has delivered 23% H119 earnings growth, despite market headwinds, reflecting continued market share gains for its Focusrite ranges, a strong performance in Europe and 260bp gross margin improvement. The company is actively seeking opportunities to use its substantial £26m net cash balance, as reflected in the current valuation.
Focusrite has reported solid H119 revenue growth, reflecting particularly strong performance in Europe and for its Focusrite ranges globally. We leave forecasts unchanged, recognising the macroeconomic challenges in H2 arising from US tariffs and Brexit. The company is actively seeking opportunities to use its substantial net cash balance (H119: £26.2m), as reflected in the current valuation.
Network International Holdings—Potential Intention to Float— leading 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. 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. Diaceutics, a data analytics and implementation services company which services the global pharmaceutical industry, due to join AIM 21 March. Mkt Cap c. £53m Raising £17m at 76p.
Companies: KZG VLE INFA NAH TRB NSCI DISH MSMN PTRO TUNE
Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on Focusrite Plc.
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Boohoo has released the now complete Independent Review into its UK supply chain in full this morning. Whilst a number of areas for improvement have been identified, there is no suggestion failings were deliberate or intentional and the chances required involve a relatively easily achieved realignment its of governance systems. We believe the Group remains well-positioned to lead the fashion e-commerce market in the future and can successfully implement an agenda for change in UK garment manufacturing.
Companies: boohoo group Plc
The company has announced a major milestone contract agreement, its first for full series production of IHT products. The contract is with an Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturer, with a maximum revenue value of £38m over the next three years. Recent market headwinds have understandably resulted in some slippage in half-year revenues and a reduction in profit. This is a significant milestone production agreement, with huge future upside potential from the wider adoption of IHT flexible printed circuit boards.
Companies: Trackwise Designs Plc
We initiate on Portmeirion and argue that it is in a better position than the current market valuation suggests. It has delivered a resilient first half and, following a strategy reset under the new CEO, it has much more enhanced capabilities with an improving model and profit outlook. Furthermore, Portmeirion is well funded with no balance sheet concerns. The shares trade on low spot multiples of 10x FY21 P/E with and 5x EV/EBITDA with a 9% FCF yield. A SOTP analysis based on peer/corporate deal metrics shows fair value towards 650p. Patient deep value investors should take a much closer look.
Companies: Portmeirion Group Plc
Trackwise Designs has signed a three-year product manufacture and supply agreement with a UK electric vehicle OEM. The agreement is potentially worth up to £38m in total, subject to pricing revisions, and will generate up to £5.0m in revenues in FY21. This will be the first full series production of flexible circuits incorporating Trackwise’s Improved Harness Technology (IHT). The agreement represents a step change in sales as total revenues for H120 were £2.4m, of which IHT was only £0.3m.
Tern plc* (TERN.L, 8.0p/£24.1m) | Corero Network Security (CNS.L, 8.25p/£40.8m) | Eagle Eye Solutions Group plc (EYE.L, 288p/£86.9m)
Companies: TERN CNS EYE
The interims reflect COVID challenges, which reduced order intake, and the acquisition of SCL. A milestone three-year agreement with a UK-based EV OEM was recently awarded, potentially worth up to £38m, which substantially underwrites further growth prospects. In the short term however, we reduce our FY20 forecasts, although with the EV contract kicking in next year, we see good growth coming through.
Today’s year end trading update from The Character Group (Character) highlights the Company’s resilience and innovation in a challenging international environment with the Group working closely with customers and distributors to maintain trading at satisfactory levels. Indications remain that the second half to August 2020 will produce a profit at least equivalent to H1’s adjusted £2.5m before tax. The Group also has the benefit of a strong balance sheet with significant cash balances and no debt except the usual working capital facilities, much of which remains unused. We are pleased to be able to reintroduce forecasts that were suspended in March due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID pandemic.
Companies: The Character Group Plc
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact globally in many areas. While primarily a health issue, it has had wide-ranging implications for stock markets, which have now rallied after the plunge in share prices in mid-March when the full severity of the emerging pandemic became more widely appreciated. Nonetheless, the FTSE 100 Index remains almost 20% off its late February 2020 figure.
Companies: AVO ARBB ARIX CLIG DNL GDR ICGT NSF PCA PIN PXC PHP RECI STX SCE TRX SHED VTA YEW
Due to a change in Analyst role, Cenkos Securities plc has suspended coverage of the following stocks (see table 1). Our previous recommendation and forecasts can no longer be relied upon.
Companies: BDEV BWY BKG VTY COST CRST BBY FERG GLE KLR KIE MSLH MER MTO NXR PSN RDW RNWH SFR SHI MGNS TW/ CTO TEF TPK GFRD
Today’s statement reveals incredibly robust Q1 trading across the Group’s brands and regions, with a positive outlook and guidance reinstated for the remainder of the financial year and beyond. In addition, the Group has announced the acquisitions of Oasis & Warehouse, bringing two well-recognised and complementary brands onto its platform. We believe the unprecedented disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the channel shift to online where we see BOO as the clear winner, with an established and leading model positioned to consolidate the market.
Tern reported a stable NAV per share of 7.0p at 30 June 2020, compared with 6.9p a year earlier and 7.0p at the end of 2019. Over the six months to 30 June 2020, an exchange gain on the US dollar-based valuation of Device Authority offset expenses incurred during the period and there were no major liquidity events triggering portfolio valuation uplifts. However, in the half-year, the four principal portfolio companies achieved a 62% increase in aggregate turnover versus H1 2019, demonstrating strong progress despite the economic disruption caused by COVID-19. Employee headcount at portfolio companies – another important indicator of growth – increased by 7% in the half-year, reflecting the focus on cost control during the period. Tern held £0.8m in cash at 30 June 2020, boosted by a £1.5m raising in July, providing scope for new investments to be made in the coming months.
Companies: Tern Plc
Red Dwarf, the very British sci-fi comedy franchise, ran for 11 seasons – most recently in 2017; and The Promised Land is a feature-length TV movie – out this year. Yes, the programme is an acquired taste. Strangely, too, many episodes are impacted by a virus or three (physiological, not main-frame).
Companies: WJG BKG CSP CRST MCS INL BDEV RDW GLE SPR TW/ PSN VTY GLV CRN ABBY BWY
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
Independent review launched: The Boohoo Group has announced the launch of an immediate independent review of its UK supply chain, intended to identify any areas of risk and non-compliance and to further strengthen the Group’s compliance procedures to ensure similar allegations will not recur in the future. The review is to be led by Alison Levitt QC, a highly experienced advocate who has previously reported on complex issues, including safeguarding enquiries. Boohoo has also announced an initial additional £10m investment in ensuring any supply chain malpractice is eradicated and is accelerating its independent third-party supply chain review with ethical audit and compliance specialists Verismo and Bureau Veritas.
In the context of a tough Covid-19 related backdrop, Portmeirion has issued a pleasing H1 trading update. LFL sales in the period were -20%, a credible outcome we feel given the retail shutdown over the majority of Q2. We note LFL’s in June improved to -9% and if this positive trend is sustained, then management expectation of the company moving into profitability in H2 should materialise. Notably, online sales growth was 90%, with Q2 >100%. This is a very strong showing and supportive of the growth strategy management is focusing on. Finally, we understand the various growth / margin related projects for which management recently raised a net £11.2m of new funds are progressing well. A fuller update around these is anticipated at the September interims. N+1 Singer currently has no formal forecasts and will initiate coverage in due course. The shares trade on a historic FY19 P/E of 6x and 5x EV/EBITDA with a >10% FCF yield. The balance-sheet is effectively ungeared. The share price at the current depressed level presents an attractive entry point for investors looking for deep value asset backed plays with a clear strategy to drive top-line and shareholder value.