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Panmure Research - Industrial Engineering 20-01-16

  • 20 Jan 16

The consensus is expecting sector revenues and earnings to bounce back in 2017, a position that reminds us of President Bush's “Mission Accomplished” speech. Chinese data may well be opaque, but if it is correct then there are two significant trends: 1. China's gross capital formation is falling sharply and needs to decline another 25% from 2015 levels to fall in line with world average; 2. China is successfully reducing energy/metal intensity of its economy with consumption and tertiary industries (aerospace, medical, optics, renewables, comms) generating bulk of the growth. This shift in China's GDP mix has already caused havoc in commodity, currency and credit markets. As the rebalancing continues, we believe it will remain difficult to forecast EPS for UK engineering stocks still heavily exposed to the energy/commodity complex. Attention will shift to balance sheets. Smiths Group and Morgan Advanced Materials are particularly vulnerable to rising refinancing costs. Weir may have to cut dividend to remain within covenants. Bodycote and Vesuvius, which we move to a BUY, seem most likely to pay an unchanged dividend over the next three years without relying on capital markets. Only GKN and Hill & Smith, which we move to a BUY, can be confidently expected to grow EPS and the dividend over the next three years and maintain a strong balance sheet.