Kape’s interims saw Group revenues rise +97% y/y to $59.0m (organic: +12%), driven by a 245% increase in Digital Privacy sales (+47% organic). Organic growth was stronger than anticipated in Digital Privacy, above N1Se estimates of 30%-40% as a function of strong end-user demand. CyberGhost (VPN) and Intego (end-point protection) subscriber bases grew +10% and +11% h/h respectively. The main takeaway is Kape’s inflection to positive FCF ($6.7m; H1’19: -$1.8m) alongside increased cash investment into customer acquisition (+60% y/y to $29m). We see meaningful cash flow margins (>25%) being delivered in the next 1-2 years, with £31m of FCF forecast for FY’21E generating a 6.3% FCF yield (peers offer 3.5%-4%). Putting Kape on a 4% FCF yield implies an intrinsic value of >£3/share.
Companies: Kape Technologies Plc
Kape has enjoyed a good first half of 2020 both in terms of operational progress and financial performance. Revenues increased 97% to $59.0 million (H1 2019: $29.9 million), a 12% increase on a pro-forma basis. The interim results reflect the Group’s continuing success in integrating its Private Internet Access (PIA) acquisition while growing subscriber numbers – now just shy of 2.4m in total - across the businesses. The focus on customer lifetime value is evident in the marketing spend and investment in new product development. Kape remains on track to meet previous guidance for the full year and expects to deliver synergies from the PIA deal at the top end of the mooted range. We believe that the Group has good revenue visibility and it continues to maintain a high level of user retention at 80%. We make no changes to estimates other than to reflect a higher amortisation charge. In our view, the interim results show that Kape continues to display the drive and capacity to meet the growing needs of consumers for digital privacy and security products in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
Kape’s strong H1 trading update highlights revenue and adj EBITDA growth of 97% y/y (to $59.0m) and +180% y/y (to $16.1m) respectively, in-line with N1Se forecasts. Underlying pro forma growth of +12% y/y is being driven by strong performance in Digital Privacy, and management are confident of meeting FY’20E guidance of $120m-$123m of sales (N1Se: $122.6m) and $35m-$38m of adj EBITDA (N1Se: $36.6m). The higher-growth Digital Privacy segment is forecast to deliver c.76% of Group sales in FY’20E. Alongside this, the opportunity created by the Group’s Privacy suite to crosssell additional services into the Digital Privacy base, and to improve already market-leading customer retention rates, further underpins N1Se medium-term sales growth forecasts of 10% CAGR to FY’22E. Our FY’20E forecasts generate FCF of $19.1m representing a 3.9% yield at current valuation, rising to 6.1% the following year. As cash-generation steps up, we see scope for the valuation discount to peers closing over time.
Trading update: on track; Reiterate Buy rating
Kape’s H1 20E trading update continues the run of positive news from the Group with confirmation of strong trading through the whole of the first half. There is no change to guidance for revenue and Adjusted EBITDA for the current financial year which management outlined at the time of the transformational acquisition of PIA last December. Likewise, the integration of PIA is set to yield the anticipated synergies. The recent Capital Markets Day (CMD) emphasised the excellent progress made in broadening Kape’s offer to consumers. We leave our estimates unchanged while noting the positive momentum in the business.
Kape’s recent Capital Markets Day (CMD) was an extremely useful update on the many benefits of integrating complementary acquired businesses (including the collaboration between engineering teams) and the opportunities for upselling that new product development brings. Over the last six months, Kape has proceeded with the integration of PIA, expanding the growth of new users through the application of the Group’s user acquisition knowhow and technology. It has also made further enhancements to its product offering which, inter alia, will improve user engagement and retention. This note looks to bring out the main points from the CMD and highlights the significant progress that has been made this year.
A well-attended virtual CMD highlighted the continuation of attractive market dynamics within the Group’s core Data Privacy segment, as well as offering insight into PIA integration progression and the Group’s product roadmap. The launch of the Kape’s customer dashboard further improves customer experience (‘CX’), providing an easy-to-use interface and attractive upsell/ cross-sell optionality. We have taken the opportunity to introduce FY’22E forecasts on the back of the CMD, with strong customer retention and in-market consolidation improving the competitive landscape. FY’22E sales of $150m (FY’20E: $123m) are forecast to deliver adj FCF of $39m (FY’20E: $19m), generating a FCF yield of 8.4% in FY’22E. The Group has a number of levers for outperformance against conservative forecast KPIs.
Capital markets day a potential catalyst; Buy
Kape Technologies was one of the first companies to report an uplift in the usage of its products and solutions as the early effects of COVID-19 lockdowns started to be felt around the world. Today’s AGM statement confirms that Kape has continued to trade strongly so far in 2020 with increased demand for its products as remote working has become the norm. It has also made further enhancements to its product offering which, inter alia, will improve user engagement and retention. Kape has been able to reopen regional offices in certain locations while the remainder of its employees successfully continue to work remotely. Management remains confident of delivering the cost synergies outlined at the time of the transformational acquisition of PIA last November and is already seeing an uplift in the growth of new users, from the introduction of Kape’s user acquisition knowhow and technology into PIA. The Group has reiterated guidance for revenues and Adjusted EBITDA of $120-123 million and $35-38 million respectively for the current financial year. We leave our estimates unchanged while noting the positive momentum in the business.
AGM statement upbeat; co on track; Buy
Kape has provided a brief trading update ahead of its AGM, flagging continued strong performance in-line with current market expectations. The integration of the recent PIA acquisition remains on-track to deliver at least $3.5m- $4.5m of cost synergies, although we believe the revenue synergy potential of improving currently below-market average PIA ARPUs by enabling access to Kape’s faster and more advanced infrastructure will prove more valuable in the medium-term. Management have reiterated guidance for revenues of $120m-$123m (N1Se: $122.6m) and adj EBITDA of $35m-$38m (N1Se: $36.6m), whilst also announcing further progress in its product development roadmap and the successful repayment of the temporary bridging loan from Unikmind. Our prudent assumptions for FY’20E generate an adjusted FCF of $19.0m, representing a 4% yield at current valuation, although we see a number of areas for potential outperformance.
VPN usage underpinned by media and WFH trends
The Coronavirus pandemic is a human tragedy of vast proportions – as well as the terrible human toll, COVID-19 has led to economies across the globe going into physical lockdown and financial freefall. Entire populations are adapting to the “stay at home” edict, to safeguard the vulnerable – and some of these changes will lead to long-lasting or perhaps permanent changes in the way we live or work. This note describes some of our client companies whose business models are well adapted to these changes, or who might see a change in long-term structural demand.
Companies: AMO BGO FDM GAMA KAPE LOOP TERN ZOO
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The MISSION’s H120 results were as indicated at the trading update, with headline pre-tax loss of £2.2m. H220 looks stronger, with new clients and new business and the continuing benefit of a broad agency portfolio across verticals. It is adding central resource to service group agencies efficiently, setting up a digital production studio and using recently acquired Innovationbubble for behavioural consultancy. Careful cash management reduced net debt to £0.9m at end June, with annualised cost savings of £0.7m targeted. Our unchanged PBT and EPS forecasts leave the shares trading below peers.
Companies: The Mission Group Plc
These were impressive FY 20 results that came in at the top end of guidance given back in March. The Data & Information core has proven resilient whilst the swift digital transition with Training and Networking has mitigated the worst revenue impacts from lockdown. Underlying cash generation was healthy, and management have been able to materially de-risk the balance sheet without needing to raise dilutive, new equity capital. In this note, we are re-initiating coverage will full estimates published for FY 21 and beyond. We also discuss the revenue scenarios outlined by the company at the FY 20 results announcement and what these imply in terms of earnings outcomes. Both of these scenarios hinge on the key swing factor for FY 21; namely whether face to face events can resume in time for Wilmington’s H2. Our estimates effectively represent a middle ground between these two outcomes. In our eyes, the current valuation is difficult to justify on fundamentals, nor on a comparative basis. Although we do not know the full current year outcome for the rest of the peer group, we would be surprised if many do better than Wilmington and yet the valuation gap has widened. Looking at the components within the group, the argument can be made that Risk & Compliance alone could be worth more than the current group market capitalisation. This suggests that investors are being given a free option on the c.£70m of revenue and £6m of EBIT (£80m / £13m pre-Covid) that sit outside Risk & Compliance.
Companies: Wilmington plc
Tern plc* (TERN.L, 8.0p/£24.1m) | Corero Network Security (CNS.L, 8.25p/£40.8m) | Eagle Eye Solutions Group plc (EYE.L, 288p/£86.9m)
Companies: TERN CNS EYE
Tremor’s AGM statement shows that Tremor was delivering on its strategy and on course to achieve FY20 revenue of $425m in Q1. However, the impacts of COVID-19 on the advertising industry led to a challenging Q2 20, with Tremor’s revenue falling with the market to be c40% below Tremor’s FY20 plan. In response, management have moved quickly to reduce FY20 opex by over $23m vs budget, and positioned Tremor’s platform to respond to a rebound in demand. There are encouraging signs for H2 20, but visibility continues to be low and Tremor is not giving guidance for FY20. We consequently introduce revenue and EBITDA ranges for FY20 and FY21, and place our estimates at the mid-point for FY20. To then highlight that Tremor’s platform can rapidly rebound, we move our previous FY20 forecasts to FY21. This reflects that we believe that Tremor’s investment case remains compelling, and even on our lower case FY21 EBITDA of $35m, Tremor is trading on 5x EV/EBITDA vs ad tech and AIM peers on >10x.
Companies: Tremor International Ltd.
We are introducing our Best Ideas for 2019 and also review the performance of last year’s picks. We suggest ten solidly financed stocks with good business dynamics that ought to be considered for core portfolio holdings and six UK domestically focused stocks that our analysts believe should perform strongly in the event that uncertainties unwind. We also introduce a new style of research from N+1 Singer which presents a Company’s dynamics and metrics in a clear and concise manner and concentrates on the pivotal issues affecting that Company and an investment decision.
Companies: BCA CLIN CLG CBP DNLM EAH STU FCRM FUTR GTLY INS GLE NICL SDL SPR TRI
We have knitted together the impact on the investment companies from what is now widely considered to be the most severe pandemic in a century. The collapse in asset prices over the latter part of March, brought the curtain down on an up-market that lasted more than ten years. In amongst this, there were pockets, such as the technology sector, that held up well. For many industries, the worst is still to come, as we brace ourselves for the sharpest contraction to global growth since the US great depression.
Companies: ASL SDV ASIT BGEU BRLA CCPE DPA IEM JMF JZCP JUKG EPIC PSHD CSH RIII CCPG BLP TMPL BPCR SEQI AIF SMT CIFU KKVX FAIR ICON RSE CRS GWI USF DIGS
4imprint’s first half trading was heavily affected by the commercial repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic as it spread across the US. With uncertainty over the speed and extent of the reopening of the US economy, projections for the remainder of the year (and for FY21) are more tentative than usual. Despite the difficult trading circumstances, 4imprint retains a strong, cash positive balance sheet, and has low fixed costs and capital requirements. We believe that it retains its long-term attractions in a large, fragmented market and should rebuild quickly as the economy recovers
Companies: 4imprint Group Plc
As expected, Informa’s H1 20 were badly hurt by the pandemic’s impact on physical events, although consolidated revenues (-£593m to £814m) and adjusted OP (-73%; £118.6m) were above street estimates. Non-cash impairments/exceptional costs also hurt, leading to a statutory pre-tax loss. The COVID-19 Action Plan is being pursued and the postponement plan is now due to last until mid/late Spring 2021. Costs savings raised to > £600m savings by year-end (versus £500m).
Further cuts expected to our earnings and target price.
Companies: Informa Plc