FY Results – Significant strategic progress and well positioned for 2020
Digitalbox is an AIM-quoted digital publishing company, currently owning two distinct digital media assets and with a scalable platform to grow through acquisitions. This morning's FY2019 results evidence the substantial progress the company made in 2019 at both a financial and operating level and with a very robust balance sheet to capitalise on future M&A opportunities. The company reported revenue of £2.24m and a reported adjusted EBITDA of £0.53m, which after adjusting for prepaid costs from 2018 with respect to Facebook marketing cost, yields an EBITDA of £0.63m. Whilst key operating KPI's for 2019 were very strong y-o-y, and Q1:2020 is said to have traded ‘ahead of management expectations', increased traffic to their assets will likely be offset by increased pressure in advertising spend in 2020. As such, we prudently reduce our FY2020E and FY2021E adjusted PBT estimates by 35% and 22% to £0.59m and £0.74m respectively. Revenue and profitability is H2 weighted, and thus it is possible that the company might experience positive momentum in advertising spend, but it's too early to call. Assuming a 10x FY2020E EV/EBITDA multiple, we see fair value at 9.3p.
Digitalbox is an AIM-quoted digital publishing company, currently owning two distinct digital media assets but with a scalable platform to grow through acquisition. This morning's FY2019E year end trading update reveals that the company has experienced a strong end to the financial year. Revenue is expected to be marginally ahead of our proforma estimate of £2.3m, but adjusted profit is expected to come in circa 10% ahead at £0.7m (from £0.6m) due to better than expected margins. The company is currently trading on a prospective 7.8x EV/EBITDA multiple, but this falls to 4.8x in FY2020 given anticipated rapid profit expansion and strong cash generation. With a peer group trading at ~15x, assuming a 10x FY2020E EV/EBITDA multiple, we see fair value at 11.7p.
4imprint Outperforms again; positive FY update confirms strong H2 | Judges Scientific Trading update – small upgrades to FY2019E and FY2020E | Digital Box FY Trading Update – Strong end to the year yields upgrades |
Companies: FOUR JDG DBOX
Calisen Group. Potential Intention to Float. Owner and manager of essential energy infrastructure assets through its subsidiaries Calvin Capital and Lowri Beck . Consolidated FY Dec 18 revenue £162.1m and operating profit £25.4m. Raising up to £300m in primary plus partial vendor sale. Expected Admission February 2020 The Global Sustainable Farmland Income Trust will invest in a diversified portfolio of operational farmland assets located in major agricultural markets including the United States, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and certain countries within Latin and South America. Raising up to $300m. Due 28 February. Investment firm Nippon Active Value fund is seeking to raise up to £200m at an issue price of 100p per share via an IPO. The company aims to invest in a portfolio of quoted Japanese stocks with market capitalisations of up to $1bn. First day of dealings expected early February.
Companies: PPIX DBOX CLL EME MSYS AURA MYSL THR TEK ECR
Digitalbox is an AIM-quoted digital publishing company, currently owning two distinct digital media assets but with a scalable platform to grow through acquisition. The business is run by media professionals with long track records and experience in the digitisation of well-known titles at houses including Dennis Publishing, EMAP and Future. The balance sheet is well capitalised and will benefit further from strong forward cash generation. The company is currently trading on a prospective 6.8x EV/EBITDA multiple, in part a reflection of its size, but undervaluing, in our view, the quality of management and their ability to scale through acquisition.
Digital Box joined AIM in March 2019 following a reverse takeover of Polemos Plc, an investment company under AIM rules. It is a digital publishing company, owning two distinct digital media assets – Entertainment Daily and The Daily Mash – with a scalable platform to add in more titles through acquisition. The business is run by media professionals with long track records and experience in the digitisation of wellknown titles at houses including Dennis Publishing, EMAP and Future.
ReAssure Group plc - The Group is a leading closed book life insurance consolidator in the United Kingdom with 4.3m policies, £68.7 billion of assets under administration on a Post-L&G Illustrative Basis. It is considering a premium listing segment of the main market.
Voyager AIR The Com pany w ill focus on the acquisition, leasing and m anagement of prim arily widebody aircraft, w ith asset management services to be provided by Amedeo Limited the IPO will comprise a Placing and Offer for Subscription of Shares to raise up to approximately US$200m.
Companies: CRC XSG ELA REDX ORCP SIXH CAML TCN TLOU DBOX
Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on Digitalbox.
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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
The Native Antigen Company (“NAC”) has been acquired by LGC for up to £18.0m – with the ongoing COVID pandemic highlighting the value of knowledge and execution in the infectious diseases space. Mercia invested in NAC via both its balance sheet and 3rd party funds. The exit represents a strong return for both sources of capital, validating complete connected capital to optimise value creation. For the balance sheet stake, the £5.2m proceeds represent a £2.5m gain on realisation (c.1.5% of our FY21e NAVps). Final Results will be announced next week, when we will review our forecasts. The shares are currently trading at a 45% discount to NAV (which is 20% cash). Today’s exit demonstrates justification for a much narrower discount, if not a premium, to conservative carrying values.
Companies: Mercia Technologies
With the sale of The Native Antigen Company (NAC) for up to £18m in cash, Mercia expects to realise £5.2m (1.2p per share) for its 29.4% stake. This exit delivers another significant milestone in management’s strategy to achieve an evergreen funding model. Management has confirmed that the group is profitable on a day-to-day basis following the acquisition of the NVM VCT management contracts (NVM) in December 2019. NVM, together with additional allocations from the British Business Bank (BBB), has lifted AUM to c £800m. Management’s three-year strategy targets a sustainable, evergreen balance sheet with AUM of £1bn in FY22, with future investment commitments met through existing cash resources and realisations without the need for further recourse to the markets. Despite real progress, Mercia trades at 0.69x its September 2019 NAV, with the fee-earning funds business as further upside, not captured in an NAV-based calculation. FY20 results are due on 14 July 2020.
Hot on the heels of the Architas acquisition – announced 1st July, Liontrust has issued in line final results (£38.1m adj. PBT vs £38.3m consensus, 24p second interim dividend). An accompanying trading update also confirms that AuM bounced back in Q1 as markets recovered and net inflows were sustained at a record £971m for the quarter. The Architas acquisition – once completed later this year – stands to drive Liontrust through the £25bn AuM mark and bolster the existing multi-asset product offering and wider appeal to the current client base. As joint corporate broker, we have withdrawn forecasts pending the approval of the acquisition at the forthcoming general meeting.
Companies: Liontrust Asset Management
HgCapital Trust’s (HGT) 12-month NAV TR to end-March 2020 was a solid 13.8% despite the COVID-19 market downturn in March 2020 (ytd NAV performance since end-December 2019 was a 6.2% decline). The coverage ratio reached a historically low level (13% vs three-year average of 53%) after HGT notably increased its investment activity and commitments in Q120. However, a significant part of these new commitments will not be drawn in the near term. The board continues to review its future funding arrangements and may also opt out of a new investment without penalty across all funds. HGT’s portfolio focus is on the resilient software and technology sector and the manager expects a limited direct earnings impact on its portfolio from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Companies: Hgcapital Trust
Key takeaways from NSF’s results and presentation were: i) solid underlying 2019 with normalised operating profits up 20% and lower impairments to revenue; ii) £60m cash now ‒ April and May cash-generative; and iii) current collections 86% of pre-lockdown levels. NSF is a going concern and is considering an equity raise to help fund additional growth. Downside includes: i) statutory loss with further goodwill impairments; ii) material uncertainty arising from COVID-19 effects and so possibly its going-concern status; and iii) operating performance improvement needed for further securitisation-line drawings (waiver extended on 29 June).
Companies: Non-Standard Finance
Beijing’s forced implementation of the Hong Kong security law threatens the region’s financial hub status. This is a potential game-changer for HSBC but it does not seem to come as a surprise for the group as confirmed by the acceleration of its investments in China or its efforts to secure a leading position on the RMB.
FY20 earnings remain in line with estimates upgraded in June as the result of decisive action. Client assets are stable, acquisitions integrating well (with approval for Hurley Partners imminent) whilst net cash remains plentiful at £26m. CFO Nathan Imlach is to be succeeded by group FD Ravi Tara at the AGM, with the board bolstered elsewhere. We do not change our forecasts, pending a review at the Finals, but note the steady market trajectory (since our June revisions) could provide upside.
Companies: Mattioli Woods
PetroTal (PTAL LN/TAL CN)C; Target price £0.45: 1Q20 results/Bretaña expected to restart in July – 1Q20 financials are in line with expectations and 1Q20 production had been reported previously. At the end of 1Q20, current trade and other payables had been reduced to ~US$45 mm compared to ~US$55 mm at YE19. Most importantly. PetroTal continues to expect the Bretaña field to be re-opened this month. The contingent liability with Petroperu is estimated at US$25 mm at the current oil price and the company has entered into a financial swap for 0.46 mmbbl of oil with an ICE Brent reference price of US $40.58/bbl to cover the upcoming sale by Petroperu at the Bayovar port. This is a recovery story that we continue to like. It offers a combination of value, production and cash flow growth and reserves upside. We anticipate that the imminent reopening of the field with be an important catalyst to the share price.
i3 Energy (I3E LN): Reveals takeover target in Canada | Maha Energy (MAHA-A SS): Production update | Aker BB (AKERBP NO): 2Q20 update in Norway | Energy (RRE LN): Recommended offer by Viaro Energy | Spirit Energy: Dry hole in Norway | Enwell Energy (ENW LN): Ukraine update | JKX Oil & Gas (JKX LN): 2Q20 update in Ukraine and Russia | Pharos Energy (PHAR LN): Operating update in Egypt and Vietnam | Sound Energy (SOU LN)C: Terms of Moroccan licence renegotiated | Tethys Oil (TETY SS): June production in Oman | Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG LN): Gas sales contract with ENEO in Cameroon terminated
EVENTS TO WATCH NEXT WEEK
14/07/2020: Aker BP (AKERBP NO) – 2Q20 results
15/07/2020: Premier Oil (PMO LN) – 1H20 update
13-17/07/2020: GeoPark (GPRK US) – 2Q20 update
Companies: I3E MAHAA JKX PHAR EQNR AKERBP ENI HUR PTAL REP RRE SOU TPL VOG OMV
Accelerating activity in to FY21
Companies: Manolete Partners
With a new CEO, Amanda Blanc, Aviva’s shareholders could dream of a possible change in the group’s strategy, with a more focused insurance business. The new Chief has an opportunity to take painful decisions in a year where no one will require a high operating performance.
Companies: Aviva Plc
With care home COVID-19 infection rates continuing to decline, and continuing full rent collection, Impact has reaffirmed its intention to pay its Q220 DPS in line with expectations. Across the sector, the pandemic has created operational challenges for care home operators, including Impact’s tenants, but it has also highlighted the essential service that the sector provides. This may have the positive effect of permanently improving resident funding and support investment to meet the increasing care needs of a growing elderly population.
Companies: Impact Healthcare Reit
Much has been written about the effects of the virus on the world and on the stock market. Here is one analyst’s take on some of the likely impacts on the way we should look at companies. This article was originally produced as a blog, “10 Changes Post Virus”, which was published a few weeks ago.
Companies: AGY ARBB ARIX DNL GDR NSF PCA PIN PHNX PHP RE/ RECI STX SCE SIXH TRX SHED VTA
Gfinity plc* (GFIN.L, 1.625p/£14.0m) | Blackbird plc* (BIRD.L, 16.5p/£55.4m) | Tern plc* (TERN.L, 11.5p/£31.1m) | The Panoply Holdings (TPX.L, 72.5p/£39.9m)
Companies: GFIN BIRD TERN TPX
Trading Well in Tough Market
Companies: Palace Capital