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 TUNE AMPH DGOC ANIC UKOG BIOM PVR
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 NAH TRB DISH MSMN PTRO TUNE
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Boohoo has announced meaningful progress in its Agenda for Change Programme, to deliver long lasting change to its supply chain and business practices. Sir Brian Leveson PC has been appointed to provide independent oversight of the programme, with KPMG engaged to provide additional resource, expertise and independence, working alongside the Group’s internal responsible sourcing and compliance team, as well as with external supply chain audit specialists Bureau Veritas and Verisio. We believe the calibre of the appointments reflects the Group’s unwavering commitment to implementing in full, and with complete transparency, all recommendations of the Independent Review.
Companies: boohoo group Plc
The group has announced it has successfully raised £11m in an equity placing to help accelerate capex on a new IHT manufacturing site based on guaranteed minimum production volumes and ahead of anticipated customer orders. It is expecting a significant ramp up in production in FY21 following a multi-year £38m production order from a UK-based EV manufacturer. Strong progress is being made with its customer trials for the medical catheter market, which together with other expected new business requires additional capacity to be put in place.
Companies: Trackwise Designs Plc
Trackwise has announced a placing and open offer, potentially raising up to £12.0m (gross). This is to fund a new manufacturing facility that is expected to quadruple IHT production capacity. The additional capacity is required to support the up to £38m electric vehicle (EV) contract announced in September and potential volume orders from electro-surgical catheter manufacturers and aerospace OEMs and suppliers.
We believe Accrol’s acquisition of LTC represents a transformational transaction which the potential to consolidate the Group’s leading position in the private label tissue market to c.30% share. On completion of the deal, the Group’s combined customer base will be stronger and broader with a step change in capacity to further accelerate its already impressive growth which continues to outpace the market. We estimate the acquisition to be 14.2% EPS enhancing in FY22E the first full year of ownership. The core Accrol business continues to trade solidly, driving an additional upgrade to our underlying numbers today. We believe Accrol’s established platform can deliver an market capitalisation of £400m+ over the medium term.
Companies: Accrol Group Holdings plc
President Trump likes to project himself as a highly successful businessman, but surprisingly little is known about his true financial position. Various articles, including a 2016 in-depth analysis by The Wall Street Journal, have speculated about his income and asset base. All sorts of claims and counter-claims have been made about his wealth – by Trump himself, pitching his fortune at some $9bn, and by journalist Timothy O'Brien, suggesting that it is as “low” as $150m-$250m. It is doubtful whether we shall ever know the truth, but we can use Trump’s UK corporate filings to gain an insight into his businesses in Scotland.
Companies: AVO ARBB ARIX CLIG DNL FLTA ICGT PCA PIN PHP RECI STX SCE TRX SHED VTA YEW
IG Design Group delivered H1 adjusted operating profit and adjusted PBT increases of 13% and 16% to $32.4m and $30.2m respectively, ahead of prudent market expectations for the full FY21E financial year. This robust H1 performance, accompanied by an intensified focus on cash management - which saw average leverage reducing to 0.2x from 1.1x last year – has enabled the group to declare an unchanged interim dividend of 3.0p. We have subsequently raised our FY21E PBT and dividend forecasts, though our H2 forecasts continue to reflect a cautious view across the peak trading period given ongoing uncertainties arising from the Covid-19 backdrop.
Companies: IG Design Group plc
Today’s announcement confirms the strong trading momentum seen in Q1 has continued YTD. Group sales are +45% YOY with revenue growth across all geographies and brands, and profitability improving YOY.
Games Workshop’s (GAW) update highlights that trading remains ahead of the board’s expectations and that PBT in H121 will be not less than £80m, with growth of at least 37% on H120, and just 10% below the COVID-19-affected FY20. Demand continues to be driven, predominantly, by the recent new Warhammer 40,000 release and through the Trade and Online channels, while Retail is still recovering from the COVID-19 closures. Retail outlets are closed where required by governments but, unlike during the previous lockdown, the factory and warehouses are still operating following investment to make the locations compliant with social distancing requirements. We upgrade our FY21 PBT forecasts by 14%.
Companies: Games Workshop Group PLC
We initiate coverage of Argo Blockchain with a 17p target price and conservative forecasts. Argo operates a highly efficient cryptocurrency mining platform in Canada and the US, where it uses c16k specialised computers/machines to mine the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin (c90% of revenue) and Zcash. It differentiates because of its access to abundant, low cost power in these locations, and the proprietary technology that its team has created to optimise its machines’ operations. Argo has already achieved a cash payback of 1.3x on the machine investment it made in 2019, and we expect that Argo’s platform will deliver strong growth in the rapidly expanding cryptocurrency market, where the price of Bitcoin has increased to $19,000 from $9,000 in May 2020. Using conservative assumptions for mining rewards, and a spot Bitcoin price, we introduce forecasts for organic revenue growth of +34% to £25.3m, EBITDA growth to £11.1m from £5.6m, adjusted EPS of 0.7p, and EFCF of £7m. We also highlight in our 95p upside case that Argo’s platform is strongly geared to the interaction between Bitcoin’s price and the difficulty of mining Bitcoin, and in our downside case we highlight that under highly adverse assumptions Argo would still continue to generate EFCF, and deliver FY23 net cash of £11m or 4p per share. This attractive skew of share price outcomes demonstrates that Argo looks undervalued on 18x FY21 P/E, 9x FY21 EV/EBIT, and 17% FY21 EFCF yield, with peers on 26-40x P/E, EV/EBIT of 21-28x, and EFCF yields of 2-3%. We watch for changes in Bitcoin’s price and mining difficulty, Argo demonstrating operational efficiency at its results, and the potential acquisition of its Canadian datacentres.
Companies: Argo Blockchain Plc
McBride has delivered a mixed FY20 performance, with a weaker H1 and a bounce back in H2 as a result of increased demand due to COVID-19. A strategy review has been undertaken, and the company will be reorganised into separately managed product divisions. Time will tell if this will successfully address McBride’s long-term challenges, but the new CEO has a thorough knowledge of the business, and we await further details, which are due to be announced in February.
Companies: MCB MCBRF 10W
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.
Residential for rent developer and manager Watkin Jones has taken advantage of land opportunities and a renewed institutional investment appetite to increase its development pipeline – at what we believe to be attractive prices. Today’s FY 2020E trading update from the build-to-rent (BTR) and purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) specialist shows a big rise in its pipeline and new forward funding deal plus solid trading in housebuilding and accommodation management. Net cash has risen and the group has reinstated guidance and its intention to pay a FY dividend.
Companies: Watkin Jones Plc
Last year, Venture Capital Trusts raised the second-highest amount since their launch in 1995, according to the Association of Investment Companies. This is good news for smaller companies seeking growth finance. Changes to pension regulations mean that VCTs are expected to continue to attract investors. Individual qualifying companies can receive up to £10m from VCT investors.
Companies: KEYS NBI MPM PTY BOO W7L
Argo Blockchain plc is a global data centre business that provides a purpose-built and flexible platform for the mining of leading cryptocurrencies in the enterprise-scale and institutional sectors worldwide from operational centres in Quebec, Canada. Following a change of strategy earlier this year the company is now focused on mining cryptocurrency for its own book and providing an enterprise level Mining as a Service (MaaS) product.
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