Today's news & views, plus announcements from AUTO, INF, AGK, GRG, SONG, IPO, PHP, TPK, CLG, LOOK
Companies: Primary Health Properties PLC (PHP:LON)Travis Perkins plc (TPK:LON)
Today's news & views, plus announcements from RIO, AVV, BNZL, TPK, ASCL, DC, PMO, SDRY, SHED, YEW, CNC
Companies: PMO RIO TPK YEW
Travis Perkins’ rebound in Q3 FY20 was slow, as the strong momentum in domestic RMI (repair, maintenance and improvement) was held back by softness in the larger new construction activity. Unfortunately, over the coming few months, the sustainability of the recovery will now again be tested by the resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the UK and uncertainties around the Brexit outcome. Hence, the sentiment around the stock is likely to remain muted, in our opinion.
Companies: Travis Perkins plc
Travis Perkins posted subdued H1 FY20 results as, amidst the Coronavirus-caused disruptions (mainly in Q2 FY20), all its banners except Toolstation slipped into negative territory. Worse, the impact on the adjusted operating profit was 4x vs the 20% fall in the top-line. While H2 FY20 is likely to generate much better top-line and profitability, management remains cautious about the demand for building materials in the near term, amidst the uncertain macro-environment conditions and expectations of higher unemployment in the country.
While Travis Perkins sustained positive momentum in the majority of Q1 FY20, Coronavirus infected its final two weeks’ performance. In Q2 FY20, business activity will deteriorate judging by the c.66% revenue decline in the first three weeks of April. As the Brexit-related uncertainty and economic recession are likely to prevail in rest of the year, the cost-cutting and cash-preserving actions act as saviours.
A good year ends for Travis Perkins – the healthy FY19 top-line performance, combined with cost savings led to a profitability improvement during the period. However, management has maintained the cautious outlook for FY20, as the macro-economic uncertainties in the UK are far from over yet. Nevertheless, the Wickes demerger plan remains on track for Q2 FY20.
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Companies mentioned in this edition include: Vodafone, Brewin Dolphin, Energean Oil & Gas, FDM Group, Fresnillo, Henderson Smaller Companies Trust, Quilter, Sanne Group, *Travis Perkins/Wickes, Wizz Air and Pendragon.
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Our Hot Off The Wires daily newsletter takes a look at the morning's market movements, news stories and company announcements. Don't forget to have a go at our daily trivia!
Companies mentioned in this edition include: Ashtead, Travis Perkins, Watches of Switzerland, JD Wetherspoon, S&U, McColl's Retail, Hipgnosis Songs Fund, Ted Baker, Premier Foods and OnTheMarket.
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Companies: OTMP SUS TPK
Travis Perkins maintained the strong momentum in Q3 FY19 – all continuing businesses, especially Toolstation and Retail, contributed to the top-line. Although, management sounded cautious about the near-term outlook, it expects the full-year performance to remain in line with expectations. Progress with the Wickes demerger is on-track, but the disposal of the P&H business has been paused amidst the uncertain macro-economic environment.
We have obtained clarity regarding Travis Perkins’ plan to demerge Wickes, the key takeaway being that the business will be spun-off as a publically-traded company by June 2020. While it remains to be seen if the separately-listed retail business would revive / perform better over time, the enhanced focus on trade-customers is likely to benefit Travis Perkins’ shareholders in the mid-term.
A strong Q2 19 performance by Travis Perkins was led by the improved business performance of Retail business and continued robust momentum at Toolstation. However, amidst the mixed key leading indicators of the UK builder’s merchanting and home improvement market, management maintained a cautious outlook for short-term demand. The demerger of Wickes was also announced. No material changes in our financial estimates.
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
Despite a solid start to the year (7.3% lfl sales growth), Travis Perkins has left investors guessing by not upgrading its full-year guidance of stable operating profit. Management has opted to wait for at least one more quarter, considering the macro-economic uncertainties in the UK. While we have improved the FY19 top-line growth estimate (following a strong Q1 performance), this momentum is not sustainable for the rest of the year. Our stock recommendation is likely to be maintained.
Travis Perkins ended the FY18 on a strong note. While all businesses clocked strong lfl sales growth, the key highlight was the return of Wickes (DIY banner) into positive territory. Management has guided for a stable FY19 operating profit, despite the expected higher inflationary cost pressures. We will revise our estimates upwards.
Travis Perkins conducted its Capital Markets Day last week. Although management remains confident about the company’s long-term growth fundamentals (led by the continued housing shortage in the UK and underinvestment in maintenance of ageing house stock), it sees some challenges in the short term. Put in context, the business has become quite complicated over the past few years, as the group’s expenses (driven by investments to grow the business) increased ahead of revenue in some areas. While some businesses (e.g. Contracts and Toolstation) have consistently performed well during the period, the company has been struggling in domains like Wickes, General Merchanting, etc. Even though some of this slump has been attributable to external factors (e.g. the slump in RMI activity post the Brexit referendum, formation of buying groups have made independent players more competitive vs national entities like Travis Perkins), the internal challenges have also contributed to the increased complexity / slower decision making / margin pressure / inadequate return of capital employed, etc.
THe following are the key remedial measures announced in this regard:
1. Focus on trade customers
2. Divest the Plumbing & Heating division
3. Improve the performance of Wickes’ business before reviewing other options in the medium term
4. Generate annual cost savings of £20-30m by simplifying the group business and reducing branch and distribution cost bases.
Moreover, management expects the group’s FCF to strengthen over the medium term, driven by improved earnings and lower capital expenditure.
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The group’s year-end update points to stronger than expected Q4 trading, boosted by robust sales in North America that translated efficiently to upside on profitability expectations. Cash performance has once again been stellar, resulting in net cash of $35m, considerably higher than forecast, partly profit drop-through and partly from tight working capital management. We are therefore upgrading our FY 2020 EPS by 25% to 33.2ȼ. The strong cash position also results in a boost to the total dividend, giving a dividend yield of 6.7%. We raise our price target from 285p to 435p, based on a target P/E of 17.0x offering upside to the current P/E of 13.8x.
Companies: Somero Enterprises, Inc.
Today’s update confirms a strong recovery in H2 FY2020E as expected and a full year adjusted PBT at least in line with FY2019, despite a material impact from Covid and the depressed oil price resulting in a decline in Augean’s North Sea Services business. The FY2020E outturn demonstrates the resilience of the Group and the strong attractions of its growing EfW activities that now account for c.70% of Group profit. Augean is very well positioned in the EfW residue market and with c.40% of the UK’s hazardous landfill capacity. We forecast Group earnings growth of 15% and 21% for FY2021E and FY2022E, and expect further strong cash generation. EV/EBITDAs for FY2021E and FY2022E are 5.7x and 4.5x respectively, substantially below sector constituents and transaction multiples.
Companies: Augean PLC
Augean has proven to be resilient throughout the pandemic. In particular, the growth in processing incinerator ash residues from energy from waste (EfW) facilities continues unabated and additional new contract wins should drive improved returns in FY21. Management expects FY20 adjusted PBT to be slightly ahead of last year and we have marginally reduced our FY20 adjusted PBT and EPS estimates by 1%. Our FY21 estimates are maintained. Cash flow has been stronger than we expected, underpinning the indication that dividends should resume in FY21.
Although 2020 will probably go down in history as one of the most challenging years experienced during our lifetime, it will also likely be chronicled as one of the best years for the recognition and appreciation of science. As we entered 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was in its infancy. However, it rapidly evolved through the exponential rise in infections and mortality globally. Much has been achieved during the past 12 months in the fight against COVID-19, but, as we enter 2021, there are considerable concerns about the emergence of a mutant version of the virus and the second wave that we are now facing.
Companies: AVO ARBB ARIX BBGI CLIG DNL FLTA ICGT OCI PCA PIN PHP RECI STX SCE TRX SHED VTA YEW
Inspiration Healthcare has announced it expects revenues and profits for the year ending January 2021 to be ahead of market expectations. Revenues are expected to be at least £36.5m and adjusted EBITDA at least £4.9m. We have moved our FY21E forecasts into line with these expectations, which are c3% and c11% ahead of our previous forecasts for sales and adjusted EBITDA, respectively. We note the key driver of the upgrade was performance at S.L.E., which Inspiration Healthcare acquired in July 2020. We reiterate our Buy recommendation on Inspiration Healthcare.
Companies: Inspiration Healthcare Group PLC
XPD is a well-established pan-European freight management and logistics operator. We have selected the Group as one of our Top Picks for 20211. The Group is based in the UK and focused primarily on providing integrated supply chain solutions for customers operating in the UK and Central & Eastern Europe (“CEE”). Trading has been resilient through the Covid crisis, and the benefits of acquisition integration and recent cost reductions are now coming through. Management has guided to an 18% y-o-y improvement in profit for 2020e. The balance sheet is strong with £4.3m of net cash reported at H1.
Companies: Xpediator Plc
Foresight Group , the award-winning infrastructure and private equity investment manager to IPO on the Main Market (premium). The Offer will primarily comprise a sale of shares by existing shareholders (c.80% of the Offer) with a smaller offering of new shares (c.20% of the Offer) to be issued by the Company. Details TBA. Cornish Metals (TSX-V: CUSN) intends to list on AIM. The Company is proposing to raise £5 million by way of private placement of new Common Shares (the "Fundraising") to advance the United Downs copper-tin project. The Company expects that Admission will become effective in February 2021. The Company's Common Shares will continue to be listed and trade on the TSX-V in Canada. VH Global Sustainable Energy Opportunities plc, a closed-ended investment Company focused on making sustainable energy infrastructure investments, today announces intends to launch an initial public offering of shares on the Official List (Premium) of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Due by Early Feb.
Companies: TYM W7L BEG CRPR EUZ IRR CMCL FARN KETL AUG
Today’s positive trading update provides further encouragement for investors. The shares have been appreciating steadily on the back of last month’s fund raise and acquisition, followed by a major contract win and the £2.5m sale of the remaining RTLS stake, which had previously been largely written off. Both FY20 revenue and adj. LBITDA are better than forecast and YE net cash is particularly healthy. The integration of OSPi is underway, with all staff already transferred. We adjust FY20 forecasts and reiterate future forecasts. Future cash expectations are lifted by the higher YE balance as well as the sale of the remaining RTLS holding.
Companies: IQGeo Group PLC
Velocys has announced a change in the partnership developing the Altalto sustainable aviation fuel project with Shell moving on and Velocys now splitting the project 50/50 with British Airways. Despite being no longer formally involved, Shell remains supportive of the project in broad terms. British Airways continues to view the project as vital to its net zero target.
Companies: Velocys plc
Capital Limited has released its Q4 and FY2020 trading statement this morning. Overall it shows 2020 was a strong year for the company with revenue growing 18% and most other operating metrics growing positively with it – see Fig 1. We have adjusted our forecasts accordingly and also to take into account the mining services contract for the Sukari Mine which the company won late last year. The latter is a game changer for Capital and its investment case in our view; turbo charging revenue growth, enhancing margins and diversifying cashflow all of which should lead to materially higher valuation multiples. We raise our PT to 127p.
Companies: Capital Limited
The group has announced an extremely positive trading update as it completes its first half. Following a positive Q1, Q2 has maintained momentum resulting in a record profit for the half year, significantly more than we had forecast for H1 and almost achieving the full-year expectation. Restructuring cost savings have also assisted gaining double-digit RoS. It also signalled a return to the group’s previous dividend policy. As a result, we upgrade our FY21 forecast with a 39% in in EPS to 19.9p. We also raise our PT from 130p to 178p, in line with the uplift in EPS, which remains a conservative target P/E of 9.0x. ALU is currently one of the lowest rated in the sector, offering a currently very attractive 4.4% dividend yield.
Companies: Alumasc Group plc
Directa Plus has had its contract with OMV Petrom extended and increased. The contract, initially awarded in July 2019, was for the provision of decontamination and oil recovery services using the Company's proprietary Grafysorber® technology. The initial value of the contract was €150k (of which €75k was delivered and invoiced in 2020) and this has now been increased to €410k, the balance of which is expected to be fulfilled by June 2021.
Companies: Directa Plus Plc
Initiating with a Buy rating. We initiate our coverage of Proton Motor Power Systems (“Proton Motor”) with a BUY rating and a target price of 201p. Our valuation equates to a market capitalisation of £1.47bn, compared to a current share price of 65.5p and a market cap of £479m.
Companies: Proton Motor Power Systems Plc
Journeo is a specialist provider of information systems and technical services to the transportation sector. This morning, the group has announced that under its existing Transforming Cities Fund framework contracts, it has received further orders for its advanced public transport information systems.
Companies: Journeo plc
Seeing Machines has announced that it has licensed its Occula® Neural Processing Unit to OmniVision Technologies Inc. This advances the relationship from the MOU announced in September 2020 and builds on a relationship that is over five years old, with the two organisations having worked on multiple automotive programmes with a number of Tier 1 customers.
Companies: Seeing Machines Limited