Today's update highlights that despite the Covid-19 outbreak and UK/IRE lockdown, which has affected trading, Duke has continued to collect cash royalties from most of its royalty partners. Short-term alternative payment terms have been agreed with those partners hardest hit, to support them to periods where royalties can be fully recouped. Therefore the 61% fall in p/b from 1.3 (at 20 Feb) to 0.5 today, appears overdone.
Companies: Duke Royalty
The scaling of Duke's royalty portfolio was progressing as expected up to March 2020, with record cash receipts that month. Due to Covid-19 and the UK's economic shutdown, macro conditions have worsened and become highly uncertain. This is likely to see some royalty partners' future cash royalties decline, which in turn, will negatively impact FV's in the FY20E results. Duke's high margin and cash generative nature ensures it is well placed to trade through these challenges. Given the degree of uncertainty in outlook, we remove forecasts and put our recommendation Under Review and await further clarity on the portfolio.
Abal Group (formerly on AIM) to relist as Supply@Me, a growing innovative "inventory monetisation" platform, having originated more than EUR300m of prospective "inventory monetisation deals" in its first six months of operating (to June 2018). In the first half of 2019, an additional prospective EUR300m was originated. As at the date of the publication of the Prospectus and Circular to Abal shareholders, dated 4 March 2020 , EUR972m of prospective contracts have been originated. Raising £2.2m. Due 23 March.
The Proof Of Trust has announced its intention to list on the Standard Market. The Blockchain based business, owns patents to a protocol which facilitates dispute resolution based upon smart contract disputes. Transaction details TBC.
Companies: ALTN EQT WSG DUKE RED IHC GRL TMO VAST BST
Duke delivered significant YoY growth in H1/20A results, as earlier efforts to broaden the royalty portfolio came through this year. This strong growth will continue with recent debt & equity raises forward funding investments to income levels of £15m by FY21E. Met with an enhanced, but now stabilised cost base, operational leverage should drive continued strong adj EBIT growth (to £13m, at a c85% margin) and further DPS rises.
MJ Hudson Group PLC, the financial services support provider to Alternatives fund managers and asset owners, is planning an AIM IPO. Deal details TBC but expected admission date mid-December.
Companies: KP2 KP2 RENE DUKE HYR TRMR SECG PVR OPTI ESL
In this interview Rael Sarembock, vice president of <strong><a href="https://www.edisongroup.com/company/duke-royalty/2905/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Duke Royalty</a></strong>, discusses the attractions of royalty finance versus other forms of financing and the investment criteria Duke looks for when making an investment. He then discusses the company’s investment case and future dividend policy.
Duke is raising £16.1-20.0m (gross) in new equity to enlarge and balance out its portfolio of royalty partners. The placing also unlocks new debt finance for investing, such that Duke could have 16+ royalty partners funded by £131-141m of invested capital, producing royalty income of c£17m+ pa. This income will be met with a stabilised cost base from FY20E, producing significant operating leverage, more material FCF and with it DPS increases for this top 5% yielding AIM stock
Royalty investing is a profitable and significant form of alternative finance in North America. However, it is still a nascent industry in Europe and Duke Royalty was set up in 2015 by an experienced team to change this. Its current portfolio is now close to £80m and it aims to add £45–100m in deals a year in the coming years. Duke has just announced a fund-raising of up to £20m, of which £16.1m has already been placed in an institutional offering at 44p per share. This will allow it to invest another £45m in the next 12 months. We estimate a sustainable ROE of 14% for Duke and we see the current fair value range at 50–58p per share.
AMRYT 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: IMMO MERC IQG DUKE ZIN FUM AGL ULS ODX IKA
Companies: AGL DGOC bmn LVCG DUKE WRES ANIC UJO FOG BLOE
Duke's FY19E pre-close update highlights a step change in YoY financial performance, anticipated by our FY19E forecasts. The royalties from all 12 partners are beginning to come through, met with a stabilising cost base, producing operationally geared profit growth. As royalties from partners annualise over FY20E, we see another large profit uplift ahead.
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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
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
What’s new: On 13 July, at its EGM, shareholders approved CLIG’s all share acquisition of Karpus Management Inc, “KMI”. On 14 July CLIG’s update confirmed it is trading “Business As Usual”, through the global pandemic. In summary:
KMI acquisition is scheduled to complete on 1 October 2020:
- Consideration of up to 24.1m new CLIG shares (subject to adjustments reflecting client acceptances), increasing CLIG’s issued shares by 91%;
- KMI increases “diversification“, adding exposure to US balanced portfolios and reducing Emerging Market exposure from c 70% to c 43%;
- KMI‘s c. 85 bps revenue margin lifts group from c. 75 bps to c. 79 bps;
- Good fit with CLIG’s investment and management philosophy;
- KMI adds c. US$3.4bn to Group Funds of Assets under Management.
Companies: City Of London Investment Group
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.
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
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
Accelerating activity in to FY21
Companies: Manolete Partners
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
Good results to 31 March 2020 (FY20), with continuing positive returns at the property and group level, have inevitably been overshadowed by COVID-19. Picton entered this challenging environment with a diversified portfolio focused on the industrial and office sectors where fundamentals continue to look strongest, with income and value potential embedded in the portfolio and a strong balance sheet. Current quarterly DPS annualises at 2.5p, a yield of 3.7%, but we believe this has been set prudently.
Companies: Picton Property Income
FY20 Interim results
Companies: Litigation Capital Management
Belvoir’s FY 2019 results were strong, with adj. EPS up 13% (13.6p vs our forecast 13.0p) and strong cash generation. COVID-19 will affect property sales in FY 2020 but lettings (61% of 2019 gross profit) will be more resilient, helped by the Government’s measures to support employment and incomes. Management has reacted quickly, reducing costs and putting plans in place to support franchisees. We now forecast a ‘lost year’ in FY 2020, assuming five months of no sales activity, a significant reduction in financial services and a reduction in lettings fees, partly offset by a £1.5m cost reduction. The capital light franchise model, inherent high levels of cash generation and no final dividend for 2019 mean we forecast gross cash of £2.0m at December 2020, down from £3.6m. Belvoir is in good financial shape to weather the storm and support its franchisees before returning to normal activity. The success of the strategy was again evidenced by a strong start to 2020 prior to COVID-19.
Companies: Belvoir Lettings