Full year results were in line with the July trading update, a little ahead of our published estimates, with revenues up 12% and adjusted operating profit up 18%. Data Products (one-third of group revenue) performed particularly well, with underlying revenues up 21% and operating margin up 70bp to 35.0%. A strong balance sheet (net cash of £35.3m) supports stepped-up investment in both technology and in panel, underpinning the ambitious targets set out for the three remaining years of management’s five-year plan. The valuation remains at the high end of the range of peers.
Companies: YouGov plc
AEX Gold (AEXG.L) has joined AIM alongside a £42.5m placing at 45p. Mkt Cap £79.7m. The Company, led by CEO Eldur Ólafsson, has established the largest land package of gold assets in Greenland with a current portfolio of licences covering 3,356 square kilometres, in the two known gold belts in Southern Greenland, the Nanortalik and Tartoq gold belts. Nalunaq is a high-grade gold asset with an updated Inferred Mineral Resource covering 422,770 tonnes at 18.5 grams per tonne of gold, or 250,970 ounces of gold, which covers the area in and around the historical mine. AEX has an existing listing on the TSX Venture Exchange
Companies: PYC THR PRP GDP YOU BBB MRL ONC RENE
YouGov’s year-end update indicates that performance has been in line with expectations and it has yet to see any material impact from COVID-19. Our estimates are unchanged ahead of results on 6 October. Data Products remains the main driver, notably in its more established UK and US markets, as brands keep close track of their standing with customers. The group’s wide spread of sector verticals will have been helpful, with strong tech and e-commerce offsetting weaker retail performance. YouGov’s share price has recovered from the initial pandemic mark-down, with the rating now reflecting its premium growth and strong market positioning.
YouGov’s online business model and direct panel relationships give it a clear advantage through lockdown. Both state and commercial interests have an increased need to gauge and track shifts in consumer attitudes, which YouGov is well placed to monitor through its growing suite of products and services. The group has a strong, cash-positive balance sheet and a major asset in its connected data library, termed the YouGov Cube, which now contains over 15 years of data. YouGov’s share price has recovered from the mark-down at the earlier stage of the pandemic, with the rating reflecting its premium growth and strong market positioning.
YouGov has updated on good H120 figures, with underlying revenue up 15% and adjusted operating margins increasing from 13% to 15% as the mix shifts further to the higher-margin Data Products segment. The group had cash of £27.2m at end January (lease liabilities only). With an online culture since the group’s inception 20 years ago, it is better placed than many to satisfy the increased desire to understand what is happening in populations by corporate and state at this time of uncertainty. We have reflected a more cautious outlook for the remainder of the year and will revert with FY21 estimates when the outlook is clearer.
YouGov’s H1 trading update confirms that the group is on track to meet management expectations for the year and our forecasts are unchanged. Data Products remains the driving force behind the overall progress, with the US and the UK markets highlighted, despite these markets being the longer-established in the group. Management’s five-year plan to FY23 targets doubling both revenue and adjusted operating profit margin, as well as achieving a 30% CAGR in EPS (25% EPS CAGR in the earlier plan). In this context, the valuation premium to slower-growing peers looks well underpinned.
YouGov’s final results to end July showed strong revenue growth (+10% underlying) and a 200bp increase in operating margins. The continuing drive is on growing Data Products and Services and focusing Custom Research on more profitable business. The ambitious targets to improve profitability set in the original five-year plan have been met. The new five-year plan to FY23 targets doubling both revenue and adjusted operating profit margin, as well as achieving a 30% CAGR in EPS (25% EPS CAGR in the earlier plan). In this context, the valuation premium to slower-growing peers looks well underpinned.
YouGov continues to develop its data, platform and tools to address significant opportunities to embed in clients’ workflows, particularly within the marketing segment. Its new five-year growth plan to FY23 targets building out its panel, data and client base globally, doubling group revenue and operating margin and achieving a CAGR of over 30% for EPS. Given the investment required to achieve this, we expect progress towards these targets to be weighted to the latter part of the period. Strong share price performance puts the rating (on unchanged estimates) at the top of the global peer range and reflects the scale of management’s ambitions.
As indicated at January’s trading update, YouGov had a strong H119. 18% revenue growth (10% underlying) blends +34% from Products & Services with +4% from Custom. More notable, though, is the step up in adjusted operating margin from 16% in H118 to 19% as the syndicated data model starts to show its value. Management has outlined ambitious new, five-year targets; looking to double group revenue and operating margin and achieve a CAGR of over 30% for EPS. With the continuing investment requirement, we expect stronger progress towards these targets in the second half of the period. Nevertheless, they underpin the valuation.
The pre-close update for the six months to end January indicates a good H1, driven by continued progress in Data Products & Services (dominated by BrandIndex and Profiles) and margin improvement in Custom Research. FY19e results are now likely to come in ‘slightly ahead’ of market expectations. The group has a CMD scheduled for 6 February and will report interim figures on 2 April. The share price puts YouGov on a rating well ahead of sector peers, but considerably below the listed SaaS subscription businesses with which it has increasing commonality.
YouGov has delivered strong results that demonstrate the success of its shift in its business model towards a real-time data analytics business with a growing subscription revenue base. It continues to innovate, developing new products and services and augmenting the existing offering and is further expanding its geographic reach, with the investment supported by the cash-rich balance sheet. A new five-year plan is expected to be set out in Spring 2019 and we anticipate that this will also have ambitious targets for growth and earnings that will support the premium rating.
YouGov’s pre-close trading update indicates that it will have outperformed market estimates for the year ended July, with particularly strong growth from the UK and US. We have raised our numbers to reflect this and May’s acquisition of SMG Insight. The focus on driving higher-margin products and services is showing through in the numbers and the improving quality of earnings. The custom business is being reoriented towards more scalable and repeatable work, also with a beneficial impact on margin. The premium rating reflects the growth record and positive outlook.
YouGov’s strategy to focus on its scalable products and services is paying back handsomely in revenue growth and margin improvement. Margin is being further boosted by the reorientation of custom business to greater use of data already held in the Cube, the group’s multi-dimensional database. We have edged our FY18 and FY19 earnings forecasts up 4-7% to reflect the strong H1. The £21m of net cash (end January) is being used to fund continuing investment in panel, applications and new markets. It also supports a progressive dividend and allows for bolt-on acquisitions. The premium rating reflects the growth record and positive outlook.
Hydrominer GmbH, An Austrian cryptocurrency miner, is considering an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange AIM during 2018 according to an article on Bloomberg.
Block Energy—a NEX Listed UK based oil exploration and production company whose main country of operation is the Republic of Georgia, looks to join AIM end of February 2018. Offer TBC
OnTheMarket—Intention to float on AIM to raise c.£50m which will be used to fund the growth of the OnTheMarket.com portal, already the third biggest UK residential property portal provider. Offer raising £30m at 165p with market cap of £100m . Due 9 February.
Companies: SSTY BEM BXP FA/ CHRT YOU IXI WBI PXC AMYT
YouGov has a strong growth record and its investment in building its data-driven products and services is steadily improving its earnings’ quality. This is also helped by the shift in its custom business to more tracking studies and a greater use of data already held in the Cube, the group’s proprietary multi-dimensional database. The strong balance sheet (net cash of £23m at end FY17) is funding continuing investment in panel and new applications, as well as allowing for an increased dividend payout. The rating reflects the growth record and continued good prospects.
Companies: YOU YUGVF Y1G
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Kape has today announced the successful, heavily oversubscribed raise of $115.5m from a mix of new and existing shareholders. The raise has been undertaken at a share price of 150p/share representing an 2% discount to prior close, and exceeds the initially targeted raise of $100m. $72m of the proceeds will be utilised to buy-out issued and eliminate deferred shares due to legacy founders of Private Internet Access (‘PIA’) which was acquired in Nov’19. The remaining $43.5m will be held for acquisition and R&D investment. We note that PIA’s executive team (CEO, CTO and COO) who joined Kape alongside the acquisition last year are all remaining in the business, with PIA’s founders only nominally involved post acquisition. The benefits to Kape are three-fold: 1) the raise increases liquidity within the shareholder register; 2) Kape is acquiring founder shares at 145p/share, an 3% discount to the price of the raise; and 3) the beneficial tax structure created at acquisition shifts to Kape shareholders (as opposed to PIA founders) creating a c.$50m cash benefit to Kape recognised linearly over 15 years. Updated forecasts for FY’21E generate FCF of $28.2m, representing a 7% yield.
Companies: Kape Technologies Plc
Tremor has announced in today’s trading update that its platform has continued to gather further momentum since H1 20 results on 22 September, and it now expects FY20 revenue and EBITDA to be in the range of $340-360m for revenue and $30-36m for EBITDA. This leads us to upgrade our FY20 revenue forecasts by +6% to $350m from $330m, and upgrade our FY20 EBITDA by +32% to $33m from $25m at an incremental margin of 40%. This reflects that Tremor’s platform benefits from strong operational gearing that translates to EFCF, and we increase our FY20 net cash to $79m from $71m. This strengthening momentum for Tremor’s differentiated platform reflects that it is capitalising upon a rebound and shift in advertising spend through the success of the initiatives it launched in 2019 and the successful integration of Unruly, and we explain these factors in more depth from p9 of our 22 September report. Today’s announcement also marks the second upgrade to our Tremor forecasts since COVID-19 impacted the advertising market and Tremor in Q2, and this reflects that Tremor has adopted a prudent approach to its guidance. Applying a similar approach to our estimates, we conservatively do not change our FY21 forecasts, and this means that we continue to forecast FY21 organic revenue growth to $420m or +20% YoY, with organic EBITDA growth to $55m or +67% YoY. This conservative, strong FY21 organic growth means that Tremor looks substantially undervalued on 7x FY20 EV/EBITDA or 5x NTM, and a NTM EFCF yield of 6%; vs peers on 13-19x EV/EBITDA with NTM EBITDA growth of 18-47%, and EFCF yields of 1-2%.
Companies: Tremor International Ltd.
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.
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.
Centaur’s Q3 shows high business resilience in the context of a challenging market backdrop. Ex-MarketMakers (“MM”; closed Aug’20), revenue decline slowed in Q3 to -16% y/y (Q2: -24%) whilst net cash actually rose (Q3: £9.3m; Q2: £8.4m) supported by exceptional cash management. Across Centaur’s portfolio, events and recruitment advertising saw continued CV19 impact, yet premium content performed well and the e-learning business saw continued strong demand. The Group also anticipate The Lawyer to achieve an FY’20E renewal rate of 105%. The Group is reinstating FY’20E guidance, with sales of >£32m from continuing ops (ex MM), and an adj EBITDA margin of c.10% (FY’19: 9%). Given improved visibility over FY’20 we also reinstate forecasts to the year end, yet longer term forecasting for events/ advertising streams remains challenging given fluidity in the macro backdrop. 0.75x EV/FY’20E sales (ex MM) looks inconsistent with growing premium content and elearning sales which make-up >50% of forecast FY’20E revenues.
Companies: Centaur Media plc
Tremor has reported a strong set of FY19 results and announced a prudent $10m buyback. The results are in line with January’s trading update, and demonstrate strong growth in Digital Video and Connected TV (CTV) advertising. Tremor has also seen a solid start to FY20, but COVID-19 could markedly affect a number of its clients. The management and board highlight that it is too early to fully assess the impact of COVID-19 on Tremor’s FY20 outlook, and we consequently leave our FY20 estimates broadly unchanged at this point. In this report we also explain Tremor’s investment case in depth, and highlight that Tremor is excellently positioned to capitalise on the major growth in Video and CTV advertising, and can see further upside from M&A and the resolution of the Uber case.
CentralNic has announced the conditional US$36m asset-based acquisition (payable in cash on completion) of one of Team Internet’s closest competitors, Codewise, a domain monetisation business based in Poland. Based on the year to 30 June 2020, the deal values Codewise at 0.60x historical sales (US$60.3m) and 4.9x adjusted EBITDA (US$7.4m). The deal is being funded by way of a share placing, with CentralNic having placed 40m shares (21% of the equity) at 75p per share (a 6% discount to the 10 September closing price), raising gross proceeds of £30m. Assuming a year end completion date, we estimate that the deal will be materially (c 18%) EPS enhancing in FY21. The acquisition is highly complementary to the successful Team Internet acquisition, completed in December 2019, building CentralNic’s technology base and market share in domain monetisation, diversifying its client base and strengthening the group’s development capability and senior management team.
Companies: CentralNic Group Plc
Pearson’s 9-month trading update highlighted that the rising digital activities were unable to offset the test centre and school closures linked to COVID-19. The group’s solid financial position remains a positive point to retain.
We are likely to raise our forecasts considering our below average expectations but expect to reiterate our cautious view on the stock.
Companies: Pearson PLC
Mirada plc* (MIRA.L, 65p/£5.8m)
Companies: Mirada PLC
We report on the performance of our momentum style screen since the last refresh three months ago and present the 25 new constituents. The screen underperformed small-cap and microcap indices modestly, though our previous focus stocks did significantly better. While momentum (as we express it) has outperformed smallcap significantly since inception of the screen in July 2016, this has arisen in shorter periods and appears to only coincide with a steadily rising small-cap index. We therefore consider this style screen to have limited predictive capability. We highlight seven stocks, which we think are interesting.
Companies: BMY CKT KEYS LGT MACF VER WYG
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
The two leading adtech businesses on the AIM market – Taptica and RhythmOne – have come together, combining their programmatic advertising platforms to create a major player in the global video advertising market. Following completion of the deal, we now release preliminary forecasts for the combined entity. Taptica’s management has only just received access to a very complex and disparate organisation in RhythmOne, and there will doubtless be an evolution of expectations as understanding and integration proceeds. RhythmOne trading for the YE March 2019 was below expectation, but under Taptica’s management the combination nevertheless represents an excellent opportunity going forward.
Vela Technologies is an investing company focused on early stage and preIPO long-term disruptive technology investments. There are currently 12 investments in the portfolio which either have developed ways of utilising technology or developing technology with a view to disrupting the businesses or sector in which they operate.
Companies: Vela Technologies plc
De La Rue remains challenged. New management has to navigate a difficult Currency market and consequent concern over its finances. The swift response in terms of a turnaround programme is a positive start, accelerating cost cutting initiatives and cash management measures, including suspension of the dividend. Restoring stability and rebuilding confidence in the investment case is likely to take some time.
Companies: DLAR DELRF DL1C
Tremor has announced that it is acquiring Unruly from News Corp through the issuance of 8.5m new Tremor ordinary shares to News Corp (6.9% of Tremor’s prior shares or £14.5m), and Tremor has entered into a global partnership with News Corp for 3 years of exclusive access to outstream digital video adverts for over 50 News Corp publications, with Tremor committing to £30m of ad spend over 3 years. This indicates News Corp has considerable confidence in Tremor, and as News Corp now has a substantial interest in the Tremor investment case, it is anticipated that Rebekah Brooks (CEO of News UK) will join Tremor’s board. Tremor has also issued a short trading update, with FY19 EBITDA in line with market expectations (H2 c$39m), net cash in line except for a $5m advance, and FY19 revenue lower than expected due to Tremor focusing on its profitable, core activities and removing intercompany revenue. We consequently adjust our forecasts with a breakdown on p6. Tremor subsequently trades at a substantial discount to its peers on 12m fwd multiples of 2.4x EV/EBITDA and 5x adj P/E, and we look forward to Tremor issuing a more detailed trading update in late January.