On track to achieve full year market expectations
20 Oct 16
Solid State has announced that H117 results will be ahead of H116 and put the group on track to achieve market expectations for FY17. We leave our estimates broadly unchanged and note that this news should give investors greater confidence that the group will be able to achieve the modest underlying profit growth in our estimates. This should help move the share price even closer to our indicative valuation of 505p/share.
Core business performing strongly
12 Jul 16
Solid State’s FY16 results were flattered by an undisclosed sum in settlement of the terminated MoJ contract. This obscures the underlying performance of the rest of the business, which looks in a good position, given the record order book at the year-end, to deliver a modest improvement in underlying profit before tax in FY17. Management expects the recent Creasefield acquisition to generate incremental profit from FY18 and is keen to execute one acquisition each year going forward. Investors still seem unable to look beyond the ups and downs of the MoJ contract. Increased confidence that the group is able to deliver the modest underlying profit growth in our estimates should help move the share price towards our indicative SOTP valuation of 505p/share.
Expansion of batteries activity
01 Jun 16
Solid State has acquired Creasefield for a maximum consideration of £1.5m. The transaction strengthens Solid State’s existing battery operation. We revise our FY17 revenue estimates, while leaving our profit estimates and indicative valuation of 505p/share unchanged.
Settlement of MoJ contract
25 May 16
Solid State has finalised a settlement agreement with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for the terminated contract to supply sub-systems for offender tagging. We treat this payment, the value of which is not disclosed, as an exceptional item. Our adjusted PBT and EPS estimates, which already reflect the absence of continued revenues from the contract, remain unchanged. Management estimates that the settlement will boost FY16 reported PBT to £4.1m.
Ability to maintain profits confirmed
28 Apr 16
Solid State has announced that trading results for FY16 at the group’s core businesses should be in line with market expectations. This confirms that it’s diversified platform will deliver another year of results at FY15’s record profit levels, despite general market weakness and the unexpected termination of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) contract. This strong result excludes compensation for the terminated contract, which we will treat as an exceptional item. The healthy order book at the start of FY17 supports our forecasts showing modest profit growth, so we leave our estimates and indicative valuation of 505p/share unchanged. The dividend (3.7x cover) represents an attractive yield at the current price.
MoJ contract terminated
26 Feb 16
Solid State has unexpectedly announced that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has terminated its contract. This has no impact on our FY16 and FY17 estimates, which already took a prudent view with regards to resuming deliveries under the contract. The share price has, in our opinion, overreacted to the news, ignoring the diversified platform that is able to deliver modest profit growth next year despite this negative development.
Spotlight on FY17
08 Feb 16
Solid State’s diversified platform gives a stable base for delivering another year of results at FY15’s record profit levels, despite delays in deliveries under a major contract with the UK Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for offender tagging. While this contract has not gone away, there is still no clarity on when deliveries will resume. We therefore reiterate our FY16 estimates and reinstate FY17 estimates assuming that MoJ deliveries resume post yearend FY17. This prudent approach gives a small year-on-year decline in topline revenues during FY17 (revenues excluding MoJ sales are expected to be in line with FY16e) accompanied with modest profit growth.
New Screen – Consistent Growth + “11 with legs”
17 Dec 15
To represent the theme of “Consistent Growth”, we introduce our second basket of small-cap stocks selected by a screening process. This will sit alongside our first (deep value) basket introduced and described in our note dated 26th May 2015 (Our first screen – 10 deep value stocks to consider). The screening criteria address both the extent AND the quality of growth in EPS and sales, which we consider add a worthwhile additional element to stock selection. The process results in a basket of 25 stocks, the performance of which we will track over time, allowing comparison of investment styles, but also highlighting interesting companies. We have taken a closer look at 11 stocks “11 with legs” (see list on the right) in this screen.
Diversified platform gives resilience
24 Nov 15
The narrative of Solid State’s interims describes how the diversified platform that management has created should be able to deliver another year of results at FY15’s record profit levels, despite delays in deliveries under a major contract with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for offender tagging and weakening markets. We leave our estimates unchanged and see fair value at 513p, based on our FY16e estimates.
Expectations for material contract modified
02 Nov 15
Solid State has issued a pre-close trading update advising that although the first half performance represented a satisfactory start to the year, second half revenues and profits are likely to be significantly lower than management expectations because of delays in deliveries relating to a major contract that was expected to benefit both H216 and FY17. We revise our FY16 estimates and place our FY17 estimates and valuation under review until there is greater clarity on delivery schedules.
From concept to conclusion
08 Sep 15
Solid State’s strategy of acquisition, expansion into complementary industry verticals and development of value-added capability delivered an impressive 35% year-on-year increase in adjusted pre-tax profits during FY15. This strategy is expected to deliver a further 64% rise in pre-tax profits during FY16. Our sum-of-the-parts analysis shows fair value at 920p/share (£77m). News of progress delivering on the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) contract is a key trigger to close the valuation gap.
Successful growth strategy
08 Jul 15
Solid State’s FY15 results demonstrate the success of its growth strategy, with an impressive 35% year-on-year increase in adjusted pre-tax profits. The strategy is based on top-line growth through selective acquisitions, the addition of new product lines and entry into new industry verticals such as green energy and security solutions. This is combined with margin improvement through focus on value-added design and assembly capability and development of own-brand products such as high-output LED modules. The prospective P/E is currently slightly lower than the annualised mean for listed peers (15.1x vs 16.9x). A small premium may be justified given the potential for faster than average profits growth.