Service revenues returned to slight growth in Q3, as they were up indeed by 0.4% yoy: an expected number confirming, however, an improving trend as they were respectively down by 0.4% and 0.8% in Q2 and Q1.
We believe that Vodafone should be able to maintain its dividend at its current levels. Given the modest growth that the group should clock in the coming years, notably in Germany, we maintain our Buy recommendation on the stock which is still 12% below its pre-COVID-19 prices.
Companies: Vodafone Group Plc
As in Q1, a quite correct resilience to the COVID-19 impacts in Q2. The good news is indeed the H1 EBITDAal margin, which was stable yoy despite the slight decline in revenues. Free cash flow should therefore be at least €5bn for the whole year. So we have no concerns about Vodafone’s dividend and we remain at Buy on the stock.
An expected resilience to the COVID-19 negative impacts in Q1. The group can indeed congratulate itself on having strengthened in recent years its fixed activities: in Germany, which represents 40% of Vodafone’s activities in Europe, service revenues were flat yoy in Q1.
The monetisation of its infrastructure assets is continuing and, given the slight growth that the group could offer in the coming years, we maintain our Buy on the stock.
Quite a good Q4 supported by improving commercial momentum in Europe. The annual EBITDA grew eventually by 2.6% yoy reflecting the cost programme’s success.
The €0.09 dividend is maintained.
Vodafone is more highly indebted after its deal with Liberty-Global, but its dividend (cut last year) seems now more in harmony with its balance sheet. Besides, the monetisation of its infrastructure is continuing. Given therefore the slight growth Vodafone should offer in the coming years, we maintain our Buy recommendation on the stock.
A quite correct H1 for Vodafone with a return to growth in terms of revenue in Q2. The performance is still very solid in Germany (which will represent next year 30% of Vodafone’s revenues) and trends are improving in South Africa, Spain and Italy despite fierce competition or regulation.
We maintain our opinion at Add on the group with a 15% upside.
The correct but not more than a Q1 trading update has been largely overshadowed by the announcement in parallel of the creation of Europe’s largest tower company with preparations underway for a variety of monetisation alternatives, to be executed during the next 18 months, including an IPO.
The EV of this company could be at least of around €13.5bn. It is obviously excellent news and could be the catalyst that everyone expected to boost the stock, finally.
We maintain our strong Buy.
Vodafone has released its annual results. Although there was not much new on the operational side, the dividend was cut to €0.09, as was unfortunately expected (but it was probably the right thing to do). This corresponds to 6% of yesterday’s stock price (vs 10% previously). The major telcos, offering a 4.5-5.5% yield, lend it some upside if the market has confidence, like us, in the sustainability of the dividend. We maitain our Buy on the stock.
Although the Q3 numbers are not so bad and the dividend for 2018/19 should be maintained, the pressure on the stock to make Vodafone cut its dividend could continue in the coming months with uncertainty about future Vodafone numbers once the acquisition of Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania is completed. The only thing that could reassure the markets today would be the sale of some tower assets.
Following a correct H1 release from an operational viewpoint, management has announced it intends to propose a total dividend of €0.1507 per share for 2018/19, stable yoy.
So, we still do not see a case for a cut in the dividend for 2018/19 or 2019/20. This is why we are sticking with our Buy opinion.
Q1 revenues declined by 2.1% yoy but this includes a 2.8% negative impact from forex and a 0.8% adverse impact from the disposal of Vodafone Qatar. On an organic basis, service revenue was quite as expected, increasing indeed by 0.3%. A number slightly lower than the 1.4% recorded in Q4 which still reflects strong growth in AMAP, but which was mitigated by a decline in Europe driven by the drag from UK handset financing and the EU roaming regulation. Excluding these factors, Europe grew by 0.5% yoy: a correct number but nothing more.
AMAP grew by 7.0% yoy, as in H2 2017/18, with growth that was faster than local inflation in South Africa, Turkey and Egypt. Although Indian revenues (not consolidated) declined by 22.3% yoy due to price competition and MTR cuts, note that it was down by only 1.4% compared to Q4, reflecting finally an appreciated stabilisation.
The full-year guidance was reiterated. The group expects EBITDA growth of 1-5%, excluding the impact of UK handset financing in both years, and the significant benefit in the prior year from regulatory settlements in the UK and a legal settlement in Germany.
In terms of service revenues, Q4 was quite as expected with organic growth at constant change of 1.4%, slightly better than the +1.1% recorded in Q3 but lower than the 2% recorded in H1. European growth, which had moderated to 0.3% in Q3, was 0.6% (excluding the positive impact of a legal settlement in Germany). Note that, in Europe, the increased drag from roaming regulation was completely offset by an improved global performance in mobile. In parallel, growth in AMAP was still strong at +7.7% during the quarter (vs 6.8% in Q3) but it was completely offset in reported terms by an 1.5ppt adverse impact from FX (particularly with regards to the Turkish lira).
Note the group’s revenue for the whole year declined by 2.2% yoy in reported terms, primarily due to the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands following the creation of the JV VodafoneZiggo and FX.
Like in H1, the good news came from the EBITDA which was up organically by 10.6% yoy. Excluding the negative impact of net roaming declines in Europe and the benefits in the UK from the introduction of handset financing and regulatory settlements in the period, organic adjusted EBITDA grew by a solid 6.5% (lower, however, than the impressive +9.3% recorded in H1) with a broad-based EBITDA improvement in 20 out of Vodafone’s 25 markets. The group which had raised its full-year guidance to +10% last November (vs +4-8% previously) has eventually exceeded its target with an annual organic EBITDA growth of 11.8%.
But the bad surprise was the announcement in parallel of the succession plan for the CEO. Effective from 1 October 2018, Vittorio Colao will be succeeded by Group CFO Nick Read. So it won’t be Colao(who was very much appreciated by investors) who will manage the recent big acquisitions made by the group (see our latest “_A brilliant deal which deserved a high price_”).
As for 2018/19, the group expects EBITDA growth of 1-5%, excluding the impact of UK handset financing in both years, and the significant benefit in the prior year from regulatory settlements in the UK and a legal settlement in Germany. It’s a guidance that is a little bit disappointing, corresponding (on guidance FX rates) to an adjusted EBITDA range of €14.15-14.65bn for the year (we have €14.8bn in our model).
Finally, note the final dividend per share of €0.1023, up 2%, giving the total dividends per share for the year of €0.1507. The board still intends to increase dividends per share annually.
Vodafone agreed two days ago to acquire Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania for an EV of €18.4bn. This deal values the acquired operations at 10.9x their current EBITDA before synergies but management expects to generate cost and capex synergies before integration costs of €535m per annum by the fifth year after completion (thus valuing these activities at 8.6x their future EBITDA before integration costs). Vodafone intends to finance the acquisition using existing cash, new debt facilities (including hybrid debt securities) and around €3bn of mandatory convertible bonds.
In terms of service revenues, Q3 was a little bit disappointing with organic growth at constant change of 1.1%, slightly lower than that recorded in the previous quarter (1.3% in Q2). European growth moderated to 0.3% or 1.9% excluding the impacts of the roaming regulation and the handset financing in the UK (these growths are indeed 0.5% below the Q2 numbers). Note, however, in parallel, growth in AMAP was still strong at +6.8% during the quarter (vs 6.2% in Q2).
Note also that, as usual, reported numbers exclude the results of Vodafone Netherlands following the disposal of its consumer fixed business and subsequent merger into VodafoneZiggo (this has an impact of 5.3% on the European revenues).
In terms of service revenues, Q2 was quite as expected with organic growth at constant change of 1.7% yoy, slightly lower however than those recorded in the previous quarter (+2.2% yoy). Note that in Europe (+0.8% yoy in Q2 exactly like in Q1) the increased drag from roaming regulation was completely offset by an improved global performance in mobile. For once the slight global slowdown was indeed more driven by AMAP regions with an organic growth of +6.2% yoy vs +7.9% in Q1. Note group revenue for the H1 declined by 4.1% in reported terms, primarily due to the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands following the creation of the JV VodafoneZiggo and forex.
But the good news came from the H1 EBITDA which was up organically by 13% yoy! Excluding the negative impact of net roaming declines in Europe and the benefits in the UK from the introduction of handset financing and regulatory settlements in the period, organic adjusted EBITDA grew by an impressive 9.3%, with a broad-based EBITDA improvement in nine out of Vodafone’s ten largest markets.
As a result the group is raising its full-year guidance: the EBITDA should be up by 10% this year (vs +4-8% previously).
Remember also that, on 20 March 2017, Vodafone announced an agreement to combine Vodafone India with Idea Cellular. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close during calendar year 2018. The combined company will be jointly controlled by Vodafone and the Aditya Birla Group. Vodafone India has been classified as discontinued operations for group reporting purposes.
In terms of service revenues, Q1 was quite as expected with solid organic growth at constant change of 2.2% yoy, slightly better than those recorded in the previous quarter (+1.5% yoy). The trend is indeed similar to the 2% recorded during the first 9m of 2015/16, despite the negative impact in Europe of the roaming regulation. Excluding this impact, the global growth should have been… 3%, quite a good number in the telecom sector. Note growth in AMAP was still strong at +7.9% during the quarter.
Remember that on 20 March 2017, Vodafone announced an agreement to combine Vodafone India with Idea Cellular. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close during calendar year 2018. The combined company will be jointly controlled by Vodafone and the Aditya Birla Group. Vodafone India has been classified as discontinued operations for group reporting purposes. Service revenue has indeed declined by 13.9% yoy in Q1 as a result of continued price competition from the new entrant and incumbents but the sequential quarterly trend is clearly stabilising as SIM consolidation is beginning to improve ARPU in the low-value segment, helping offset pricing pressure in the mid and high-value segments of the base.
Note also the reported numbers exclude the results of Vodafone Netherlands following the disposal of its consumer fixed business and subsequent merger into VodafoneZiggo (it has an impact of 4.2% on the European revenues).
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Wickes to demerge from Travis Perkins and list on the Main Market. Expected 28 April. Advance Energy to complete an RTO on AIM indirectly acquiring up to 50% of Carnarvon Petroleum Timor which holds a 100 per cent. working interest and is the contractor under the Buffalo PSC, offshore Timor-Leste. Carnarvon Petroleum Timor is a subsidiary of ASX listed company, Carnarvon Petroleum Limited. The net proceeds of the Placing of approximately £20.01m (approximately US$27.51mm) will be used to fund the Acquisition. Due 19 April. NFT Investments plc is an investment company that specialises in non-fungible tokens (NFT). Has applied for admission to the Access segment of the AQSE Growth Market. No funds being raised. Due 16 April. Thor Explorations (TSXV:THX) seeking a secondary listing on AIM. The Company is targeting Admission during Q2 2021. Segun Lawson, President & CEO, stated: “Thor Explorations has advanced significantly, in both project development and capitalisation since the acquisition of Segilola in 2016. This year, the Company is well positioned to achieve two major milestones with the commencement of gold production at Segilola in Nigeria and a maiden resource at Douta in Senegal, as well as continuing to progress our highly prospective Nigerian exploration portfolio on the Ilesha Schist belt.” MAST Energy Developments (MED) is to IPO on the Standard List on 14th April 2021 under the ticker MAST. The company has raised £5m giving a market capitalisation on listing of c. £23m. MED is currently a 100% subsidiary company of AIM quoted, Kibo Energy*. MED was established to acquire and develop a portfolio of flexible power plants in the UK and become a multi-asset operator in the rapidly growing Reserve Power market. PensionBee has confirmed its intention to float on the High Growth Segment of the Main Market of LSE. The online pension provider had approximately 130,000 Active Customers and £1.5bn of assets under administration, in each case as at 28 February 2021. The Offer will comprise new Shares raising gross proceeds of approximately £55m and existing Shares to be sold by certain existing small minority shareholders of up to £5m. None of the founders, directors or members of senior management of PensionBee are selling any existing Shares. Expected in April. Imperial X (AQSE:IMPP) to join the Main Market (standard). It is also proposed that on Admission to the Official List, the Company will change its name to Cloudbreak Discovery Plc. With effect from Admission, Imperial X will hold equity positions and royalties in a variety of projects in the natural resources sector across multiple jurisdictions, primarily in the Americas and Africa. The Company is proposing to raise up to £1.5m by way of placing of new Ordinary Shares to support further prospect acquisitions. Current Mkt cap £4.7m Expected April 2021. Proposed move to AIM from the main market (standard) by Emmerson (EML.L) to provide Emmerson with access to a market and environment which is more suited, in the Board's view, to the Company's current size and strategy ahead of pivotal period for the Company with the commencement of mine construction at the Khemisset Potash Project expected by end of 2021. Follows recent award of Mining Licence granting Emmerson exclusive right to develop and mine the potash deposit and £5.5m raise to fund ongoing project development work. NextEnergy Renewables to launch an IPO on the Main Market. NREN is a differentiated renewables investment Company that aims to capture the most attractive private renewables and energy transition infrastructure investment opportunities globally. Targeting a £300m raise. NREN is targeting total returns of 9-11 per cent. per annum (net of all fees and expenses but including the Target Dividend and capital appreciation) . The Company's target dividend yield for the first full financial year to 31 December 2022 is 5.5 pence. Due Early March 2021. Digital 9 Infrastructure launch an initial public offering on the Specialist Fund Segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, by way of an initial placing and offer for subscription for a target issue £400m. Digital 9 Infrastructure plc is a newly established, externally managed investment trust. The Company will invest in a range of digital infrastructure assets which deliver a reliable, functioning internet. The IPO Prospectus is expected to be published in March 2021. Fix Price announces its intention to float on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Fix Price is one of the leading variety value retailers globally and the largest in Russia, with more than 4,200 stores. Fix Price has revenues of RUB 190.1bn, RUB 142.9bn and RUB 108.7bn for 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Adjusted EBITDA for the same years was RUB 36.8bn, RUB 27.2bn and RUB 14.2bn, respectively. The Offer would consist of an offering of GDRs by certain existing shareholders of the Company. Great Point Entertainment Income Trust PLC announced its prospectus has been approved by the FCA. Great Point Entertainment Income Trust PLC is a newly established, externally managed closed-ended investment company. The Company will provide project finance to content makers and commissioners in the global television and film production industry via senior loans secured against pre-sold intellectual property (IP) rights. GPEIT's investment objective is to provide Shareholders with dividend income and modest capital growth through exposure to media content finance.
Companies: GOOD FIH SRT NFC RFX ARCM ACRL EQLS ORPH VRS
The UK market showed a continued recovery in the first quarter albeit the indices are still well short of their all-time peaks, unlike many of their international peers. The FTSE 100 has risen by 1,186 points (21.4%) since the end of October and the FTSE 250 by 4,304 points (25.0%). The comparable performance since the start of the year is less spectacular- the FTSE 100 has risen by 253 points (3.9%) and the FTSE 250 has risen by 1,070 points (5.0%). The factors behind the sustained rally are familiar. The belief that the roll-out of the vaccine and some relaxation of lockdown limitations will lead to a significant economic recovery, compared to the collapse seen in the first half of 2020, due to lockdowns. Indeed, the recent economic picture is becoming more optimistic than previous expectations. According to the ONS, the economy grew a little more than initially estimated in Q4 last year. This means GDP for 2020 as a whole contracted by 9.8%, revised up marginally but still the worst contraction on record. Markets, in general, have focused upon the potential scope and extent of the recovery. The sectors and stocks that have outperformed have been seen as ‘recovery’ plays with a rotation from stocks seen as ‘lockdown’ winners into those set to benefit from the ‘unlocking of society’ and/or exposed to the consumer. We expect 2021 will continue to be a “stock-picker’s” market. The sharp increase in the household savings ratio in Q4 highlights the scope for a recovery driven by expenditure. As further lockdown limitations are lifted, evidence of this growth will help to underpin the more optimistic outlook for Q2 and beyond.
Companies: AMYT ARBB BPC BAG BVC BEG BONH BLVN BRSD CML CWK CRPR EYE ECHO FDM FAR FA/ GPH GSF HUW INSE JDG KAPE KP2 MACF MPAC MNZS NESF NBI OTMP OBD PREM QFI RUA SCS SEN SOS SUR TON TOU TXP TGL TCN UEM VLS WYN
Despite hopes that COVID restrictions would only last a few months, they have continued for over a year, resulting in a similar delay to the Maritime Surveillance System business. No milestones were reached (some were close) in FY21 and thus no System revenue is recognised, leading to a £5.8m LBT. FY21 sales are thus just Transceivers alone; that division actually seeing YoY growth with stable gross margins, laudable in a year of COVID. For Systems it has been a ‘lost year’, however this is only financially, not operationally as the downtime enabled much planning and preparation for a steep scale-up in delivery required for the years ahead. Four new Asian opportunities add to the delayed three in the Middle East, so seven system contracts worth £125m are now expected in FY22. SRT starts FY22 with £5.3m cash and this strong pipeline of projects alongside the growing and profitable Transceivers business. We reinstate FY21 forecasts with this update and aim to release FY22 forecasts with the prelims.
Companies: SRT Marine Systems plc
Companies: ARG ADT UKOG PHAR UNG CYAN FA/ SNX VRE SHED
The Budget offered a clear picture of the state of the economy. Put simply, the economy will be 3% smaller in three years’ time than it would have been without the impact of the pandemic. However, it is forecast to return to pre-pandemic levels by mid-2022, six months earlier than previously thought. The OBR forecasts that the UK economy will grow by 4.1% in 2021, (lower than the 5.5% outlined in November 2020). It has set its GDP forecasts in 2022, 2023 and 2024 at 7.3%, 1.7% and 1.6%. Positively, we have a continuation of substantial support for various parts of the economy – totalling £350bn. The market may focus on two elements. Under the so-called “super-deduction scheme, businesses which invest in the next two years will be able to claim 130% of the cost against their tax bill. This is significant but also significant is the proposed increase in corporation tax on profits from 19% to 25% in 2023. This has material consequences. Looking that far ahead is not straightforward. The increased tax charge will inevitably impact ratings. This may not be a consideration currently but may become one as more FY2023 estimates are introduced. Closer to home, we have continued to see most results/updates in line with expectations. An increasing number of companies have restored dividends. M&A across a broad range of sectors also looks set to continue.
Companies: AMYT ARBB BPC BVC BEG BRSD BWNG CBOX CTG CLG CML CWK EYE ECHO EML ESC FBD FA/ GSF HTWS INSE JDG MACF MTW NESF NAVF NSF NBI OTMP PCF PPC QFI SAVE SEN SNX TGL UTL VLS WYN
Sales and EBITDA are both expected to be in line with our recently reintroduced forecasts. As the top-line, we’re looking for £57m, ~-8% y/y, but more pertinently, this means a sequential stabilisation (H1/H2) – achieved by; the recommencing of Managed Services project revenue (which saw the bulk of the disruption in H1) and also; a strong presence in the Public Sector – where demand has been resilient. ADT’s profit performance has been similarly robust, with N1S forecasts looking for £10.0m of EBITDA (PY: £11.7m) - again stabilising H1/H2. Meanwhile, closing net senior debt of £26.1m is slightly better than expected (£26.4m) so implies FCF of £3.8m or £5.8m on a unlevered basis. Also announced – the group’s existing banking facilities have been extended and enlarged, so this provides significant committed capital for a likely return to M&A. Ahead of this, Adept is making strong internal progress, as an initiative to move all Group divisions onto a single set of operational and financial systems is now >80% complete. Nothing specific regarding outlook, but rather a view that Covid’s initial disruption has passed and that customers are now assessing their long-term IT requirements. This of course provides a positive backdrop for tendering activity looking ahead, particularly for ADT given its diversified customer demographic and wide portfolio of capabilities. FY22 forecasts point to Managed Services growth of 8% y/y, leading to £8.4m of unlevered FCF. This compares against a forward EV of £89m, ~10% yield. This certainly stands out compared to peers.
Companies: AdEPT Technology Group Plc
tinyBuild— a leading video games publisher and developer with global operations. tinyBuild's strategic focus is in creating longlasting IP by partnering with video games developers, establishing a stable platform on which to build multi-game and multimedia franchises is to join AIM. Offer details TBC. Due mid-March. AMTE Power, a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery cells for specialist markets, announced its intention to seek admission to trading on AIM. Admission is expected to take place during March 2021. The Company intends to raise approximately £7m by way of a placing of new ordinary shares in the capital of the Company. Timing TBC. Samarkand Group Limited, the cross-border eCommerce technology and retail group opening up the world's largest market for brands and retailers, intends to IPO on the Apex Segment Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market. Admission is targeted for March 2021. Cellular Goods a UK-based provider of premium consumer products based on biosynthetic cannabinoids announced its intention to join the main market (standard). Has raised £13M in an oversubscribed placing. £25m mkt cap. Due 26 Feb. NextEnergy Renewables to launch an IPO on the Main Market. NREN is a differentiated renewables investment Company that aims to capture the most attractive private renewables and energy transition infrastructure investment opportunities globally. Targeting a £300m raise. NREN is targeting total returns of 9-11 per cent. per annum (net of all fees and expenses but including the Target Dividend and capital appreciation) . The Company's target dividend yield for the first full financial year to 31 December 2022 is 5.5 pence. Due Early March 2021. Digital 9 Infrastructure launch an initial public offering on the Specialist Fund Segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, by way of an initial placing and offer for subscription for a target issue £400m. Digital 9 Infrastructure plc is a newly established, externally managed investment trust. The Company will invest in a range of digital infrastructure assets which deliver a reliable, functioning internet. The IPO Prospectus is expected to be published in March 2021. Team PLC announced their plans for an AIM IPO. Team owns Theta Enhanced Asset Management Ltd, trading as Team Asset Management. This is a Jersey-based active fund manager providing discretionary and advisory portfolio management services to private clients, trusts and charities. Assets under management were GBP291m in November, up from GBP140m in December 2019 . The Company is seeking to raise no less than £5m. The Placing will be priced on a pre-money valuation for the Company of £7m. Targeting March Admission. Virgin Wines UK Plc has out their plans for an AIM IPO. Virgin Wines is a direct-to-consumer online wine retailer that sells products to retail customers in the UK through two subscription schemes and a pay-as-you-go offering. The Group also sells a range of beers and spirits and operates a B2B sales channel for corporates. Anticipated mkt cap £110m. Raising £13m in new money and vendor sale of £34.9m . Due 2nd March. Fix Price announces its intention to float on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Fix Price is one of the leading variety value retailers globally and the largest in Russia, with more than 4,200 stores. Fix Price has revenues of RUB 190.1bn, RUB 142.9bn and RUB 108.7bn for 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Adjusted EBITDA for the same years was RUB 36.8bn, RUB 27.2bn and RUB 14.2bn, respectively. The Offer would consist of an offering of GDRs by certain existing shareholders of the Company. Great Point Entertainment Income Trust PLC announced its prospectus has been approved by the FCA. Great Point Entertainment Income Trust PLC is a newly established, externally managed closed-ended investment company. The Company will provide project finance to content makers and commissioners in the global television and film production industry via senior loans secured against pre-sold intellectual property (IP) rights. GPEIT's investment objective is to provide Shareholders with dividend income and modest capital growth through exposure to media content finance. According to media reports, Deliveroo, are expecting to release their IPO plans on 8th March. The company raised more than $180m in January with a valuation of more than $7bn.
Companies: YEW IKA UPR WYN ENW BWNG TRAK DBOX HZM G4M
Calnex Solutions has today confirmed that the strong levels of customer spend experienced during H1/21 have continued into H2/21. Consequently, with FY21E revenue and profitability both anticipated to be ahead of market expectations, we have upgraded our FY21E revenue and adjusted PBT forecasts by 12.6% and 18.9% to £17.3m and £5.1m, respectively. Calnex has firmly established a trusted reputation worldwide, launching multiple first to market telecoms and network testing solutions. The exponential growth of data creation and secular migration of industries to cloud computing along with the long-term transition of the telecoms industry to 5G are long-term drivers of demand for high value test instrumentation. Calnex is progressing its growth strategy expanding both R&D and sales capacity to capture increased market share within this substantial and growing global market.
Companies: Calnex Solutions Plc
The Interims are as announced in the October update; H1 2021 was better than expected considering the lockdown and leaves SRT well positioned to benefit from meeting Systems delivery milestones, receiving major cash payments and signing new contracts in H2. As last year, H1 revenues are just from Transceivers, with no Systems milestones booked in the period. Last year, that was a quirk of timing in project deliveries, but this year Systems deployments were paused due to the pandemic. Despite global lockdowns, the Transceiver business is growing impressively on the back of new products and channels. Meanwhile, Systems recommenced delivery of the Philippines BFAR system and awaits news on three major contracts in the Middle East, expected to be signed and started this H2. Importantly, the group cash position is strong; £8.5m of Systems payments and the £5.3m April refinancing left gross cash of £5.0m at September; vital for working capital to deliver the Philippines project, which continues to make solid progress. Otherwise, investors await the anticipated new Systems contracts currently in negotiation. The fundamental demand drivers for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) systems remain undiminished and the validated sales pipeline remains firm at 17 new contract opportunities totalling £550m.
As expected, Q3 revenues and EBITDA were down by 5%, a less pronounced fall than in H1 but lockdown restrictions in Q4 are expected to impact the trading performance further with almost the entire retail estate closed in addition to all pubs and clubs.
BT’s stock probably reached its nadir in November. It has recovered by c.35% since November but is still down by 20% yoy. BT must now stabilise its revenues, which won’t be possible for 2020/21 given the context.
Companies: BT Group plc
The recent acquisition of Mission Labs was one of strategic importance to Gamma, in our view. It exemplified the progress that the Group has made in following its strategic plan to add to its scale and enhance product development capabilities through combining good organic growth with complementary acquisitions. The FY 2020 results reflect the success that Gamma has had to date in exploiting the significant growth opportunities that it has produced. We upgrade estimates to reflect the strong adjusted EBITDA performance just reported and to add the contribution of Mission Labs. We also introduce first-time numbers for FY 2023E. In all, we continue to expect good growth in profitability.
Companies: Gamma Communications PLC
Spirent’s results last week showed good traction from the group’s strategic growth areas (Lifecycle Service Assurance and Application Security), which combined with effective cost control, resulted in strong earnings growth and excellent cash generation. The group remains heavily H2 weighted, but we believe it is well placed to deliver a long awaited return to top-line growth going forwards. With gross margins remaining strong and management maintaining a tight grip on costs, we expect the growth to result in continued margin expansion across our forecast period. We make significant upgrades to all forecast years and increase our target price to 139p. Buy.
Companies: Spirent Communications plc
We are lucky that Next, one of the shrewdest commentators on retail sector developments, is among the first to update on Christmas trading. It confirms suspicions that unseasonable Q415 weather dented trade. However, there are also signs in the statement to the structural shifts occurring in UK retailing that could negatively affect sector valuations.
Companies: NXT NXT NXS NEXT NAC/U NXTGMS NEE NXTC NXGN NE/H NGW NEXT OILS 1316 YNPC ALNXT NXTV NFC NESF NEXD NXTG 282 NXGN NXTM NML 4814 3842 3186 7094 003580 065170 089140 137940 160550 NGB NXGEN NEXT NXB 348210 NEXT NEP NXTCL 8147 EFFI NXGT NEX NXRA NXSL NXMR NXTN NGMC NGAC NCAP
TomTom’s Q4 20 results fell short of expectations, but the major element of the disappointment was at the FCF level in terms of 2021 guidance as well as a slower recovery in Automotive.
Companies: TomTom NV
Q3 trading points to a sequential recovery H2 Managed Services (MS) revenues in the order of 3% for recurring revenues and some 16% for project work. This improved visibility gives the company the confidence to reintroduce guidance for both FY21 and FY22 with the latter expected to benefit from a return of pent-up demand and generate high single digit MS organic revenue growth and FCF of some £6m for an equity FCF yield of c.9%. We view this as attractive given the potential to push FCF towards £10m as the recovery takes hold and with the potential for further accretive acquisitions as an when appropriate.