While the pandemic continues to disrupt normal economic activity, the hazardous waste market has proved relatively resilient. Augean faces a shift in challenges in H220 as North Sea decommissioning activity declines and waste flows return towards more normal levels following H120 shutdowns. Encouragingly, cash flow remains strong and we anticipate a positive net cash balance at the year end.
Companies: Augean PLC
Augean has reported interims to 30 June 2020. With the first half bearing the full impact of Covid-19, adjusted PBT decreased by 11% to £8.5m, which is in line with our expectation. With radioactive wastes, biomass for EfW and construction impacted by lockdown and depressed activity levels in its North Sea services, due to the low oil price, the results demonstrate the resilience of the Group and also the benefit of its key position in its markets with strategically located hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilities in the UK. Whilst the statement highlights that full year results are expected to be broadly in-line with market expectations, we have conservatively reduced forecasts. Nevertheless, with strong cash generation and sustained growth EV/EBITDA falls to 5.3x and 4.1x for FY21E and FY22E, a level that is substantially below sector constituents and transaction valuations.
Augean has announced that it has lodged a claim with the HMRC for the repayment of £11.1m of Landfill Tax (‘LFT’), including overpaid interest, in relation to engineering materials used in the construction of cells at its landfill sites. The period of the claim (in relation to what is known as the ‘Fluff layer’) dates from 2013. Management has decided to pursue this claim following legal challenges brought by other waste operators who have successfully argued before the Upper Tax Tribunal that they can reclaim LFT previously charged on the Fluff layer. HMRC has challenged the Upper Tax Tribunal decision and the case will now be heard in the Court of Appeal at a date that has yet to determined. The Court of Appeal decision will impact directly on Augean’s claim.
FY19 results were ahead of our expectations on an underlying basis and extended the recovery in profitability evident since 2017. With the financial liability to HMRC now discharged and strong growth expected in Augean’s key markets, we believe that the company is well positioned to continue to deliver returns for shareholders.
Augean has reported substantial progress in FY2019 with adjusted PBT up by 68% to £19.2m. The statement highlights a strong start to trading in 2020 and a robust pipeline of activity that leaves the Board confident in Augean’s prospects for FY2020E. Net debt has risen materially to £17.8m after the payment of £40.4m (including accrued interest) to the HMRC in respect of disputed Landfill Tax assessments that continues to be robustly challenged by management. The HMRC payment now allows the focus to move to the strategic development of the Group and removes an issue of concern for investors. There is a FCF yield of over 9% and a return to net cash is expected by year end. At this early stage in FY2020E we make no change to our earnings forecasts.
Augean has issued an in-line trading update highlighting strong trading in its final quarter and its expectation that it will report adjusted PBT for the year to December 2019 at least in line with market consensus of £18.4m. We make no adjustment to our forecasts at this time.
Calisen Group. Potential Intention to Float. Owner and manager of essential energy infrastructure assets . Consolidated FY Dec 18 revenue £162.1m and operating profit £25.4m. Raising up to £300m in primary plus partial vendor sale. 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: TERN HMI QTX IND DXRX ERGO FARN AUG AVG
Augean has announced the renewal and extension of the Group’s banking facilities and also that it has paid all outstanding and disputed HMRC Landfill Tax assessments totalling £40.4m, including accrued interest. Management reaffirms it will continue to robustly challenge all HMRC assessments based on legal advice that the Group has correctly collected and paid appropriate landfill tax. The HMRC payment allows management to focus on the strategic development of the Group and provides investors with a much cleaner basis for valuation.
Augean has reorganised its business and now enjoys a strong competitive position in its key markets, allowing it to capture underlying market growth and significantly improve profitability. The H119 results and recent trading update suggest this trend is set to continue. Augean’s market rating, even allowing for the outstanding tax liability with HMRC, appears very modest for a company with significant growth potential.
Augean has announced that it has secured an option to purchase 90 acres of land adjacent to its Peterborough landfill. With appropriate planning and permitting consent the optioned land extension would prolong the life of the site to the mid-2040s. This is an important development that aligns with a national need for hazardous landfill and soil treatment in the South of England and would re-enforce Augean’s leading position in the UK hazardous landfill market.
Companies: AUG SAVE EZH LVCG ITX EHG WIN APQ SLE
Augean has issued an update that highlights a strong Group trading performance in the third quarter. As a result, management expects adjusted profit before tax to be materially ahead of the current consensus forecast of £16.5m for the year to 31st December 2019. The Group notes that it has benefitted from a 20% increase in landfill volumes across all waste types, a further 20% improvement in landfill pricing, increased radioactive waste profit and a good performance by both the treatment and North Sea businesses. We have upgraded EPS forecasts for FY2019E by 17%, including the benefit of our revised expectation of a sustainable 19% tax charge compared to 23% previously. Outer year forecasts rise further as we adjust to factor in established trends and remove now undue levels of conservatism.
Registration document approved for Helios Towers. The Group provides essential network services, flexible infrastructure solutions and reliable power supply to mobile network operators in five African growth economies. Revenue increased 7 per cent. year-on-year to US$191m (H1 2018: US$178m), with Adjusted EBITDA up 15 per cent. year-on-year at US$99m (H1 2018: US$86m) for the six months ended 30 June 2019. Pricing rumoured at 115p to 145p implying valuation of up to $1.8bn. Expected 18 Oct 2019. African Export-Import Bank a supranational financial institution w hose purpose is to facilitate, prom ote and expand intra- and extra- African trade, of its potential intention to publish a registration document, the Bank hereby confirms its intention to proceed with an Initial Public Offering. The GDRs are expected to be admitted to the standard listing segment of the Official List of the FCA and to trading on the Main Market of the LSE.
Companies: DEST BOKU BOKU BOKU GTC RRL AUG ARK ARBB LGRS GOOD ASC
Management has delivered a very strong set of interims and anticipates results ahead of market expectations for the full year. Including today’s 10% upgrade, FY2019E PBT forecasts have now risen by 45% so far this year as momentum has built. Cost savings now exceed expectation at £6m p.a. and market drivers remain strong in key segments within the Treatment & Disposal and North Sea divisions, where H1 revenues were ahead 39% and 43% respectively. We still see forecasts as conservatively framed and would highlight that net cash is now at £22.8m, up £14.6m in the first half
Management has increased guidance again following Q2 19 trading ahead of expectations. Performance has been good across the group, with particularly strong contributions from landfill and radioactives. We have increased estimated growth rates for FY19, but made no changes to our cautious assumptions for subsequent years. This has driven upgrades to adjusted PBT of 10% for FY19, 9% for FY20 and 8% for FY21, with corresponding increases in net cash. Given the group’s strong momentum, we have also revisited our illustration of how forecasts might develop if trading remains buoyant, despite the uncertain economic backdrop. This suggests potential for additional upgrades of 10-31% across our forecast horizon. There is no further update on the group’s discussions with HMRC, which continues to weigh on the group’s valuation multiples, and offers material upside as the issue is resolved.
Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on Augean PLC.
We currently have 89 research reports from 4
Less than a fortnight after a major new contract announcement in West Africa, Capital has announced the expansion of its operations at Barrick Gold’s Bulyanhulu Gold Mine in Tanzania. The contracts include a five-year laboratory services contract for MSALABS, together with a two-year underground grade control drilling contract. Capital commenced operations at Bulyanhulu in February 2020, undertaking a deep hole delineation drilling program. The successful execution of this resulted in an expansion of services, with two underground rigs added to operations from May. The new contract will expand the underground fleet to four, utilising two rigs from the existing fleet and including the acquisition of a further two rigs.
Companies: Capital Limited
Trading to date in FY 2021 has been positive, with no sign of an adverse impact from the second national UK lockdown. Net new business across both divisions is described by management as encouraging and the new business pipeline remains very healthy. With volumes better than expected and margins improving DX is on track to perform materially better than market expectations and we have, consequently, upgraded FY 2021 EPS by 29% and FY 2022 by 15%, driven by stronger assumptions in DX Freight. We have also raised our FCF-based target price from 29p to 33p and reiterate our view that the group is in a strong position to rebuild profitability by winning new business and improving efficiency, productivity and margins.
Companies: DX (Group) Plc
Management is delivering right on cue to its resumed guidance as per the 1 October trading update. H2 revenue recovery is back close to pre-pandemic levels and operating margins have returned to target 3% in quick time – and are sustainable at that level too. Having upheld dividends through this challenging period and actually extended the order book (up 17% YoY and also c3% higher than last reported), TClarke is firmly re-establishing a growth trend on arguably more solid foundations. The share price is 10% higher since the last trading update but in our view remains significantly undervalued against a prospective FY21E EV/EBITDA ratio of 3x, a PE of c6x, yield 4.6% and double-digit FCF yield.
Companies: TClarke plc
Volex has reported interim results that are in-line with expectations following a strong trading update in mid-October. Of far greater significance is today’s announcement of the proposed acquisition of DEKA for a consideration of up to €61.8m on a debt free basis. DEKA is a leading and highly profitable power cord manufacturer, strategically located in Turkey, that serves leading European white goods manufacturers. The acquisition should close in early CY2021, subject to expected Turkish Competition Authority approval. We foresee 15% earnings enhancement in FY2022E with further opportunities for revenue synergies with Volex in the Far East as its operations also vertically integrate, production efficiencies increase and the cost of production falls. The statement highlights that pro forma net debt/EBITDA remains under 0.4x and this provides scope for further bolt-on acquisitions alongside a new $70m RCF and $30m accordion, also announced with the interims.
Companies: Volex plc
We release prudent FY20E and FY21E forecasts as Xpediator continues to gain momentum and operations revert to pre-COVID levels. The Group has made strategic progress year to date. It has implemented a strict cost reduction programme which should drive annualised cost saving of over £0.5m, restructured and strengthened its management team and further integrated acquisitions. Additionally, it is in the process of consolidating its site portfolio, driving further costs out of the business. We believe the market continues to undervalue Xpediator's geographically diverse revenue base, flexible low fixed cost operating model and positive financial outlook. Accordingly, we move our recommendation from Under Review to Buy.
Companies: Xpediator Plc
Directa Plus has announced that in the October collaboration agreement with NexTech Batteries, it has achieved above 400 Wh/kg (watt-hours per kilogram, the usual measure of energy density) in a practical system. NexTech produced several full-scale pouch format cell prototypes using its proprietary cathode and electrolyte materials (with Directa plus graphene) producing 410Wh/kg of specific energy at a weight only slightly below 30g. For comparison, standard Lithium-Ion batteries have an energy density of 100-265 Wh/kg.
Companies: Directa Plus Plc
President Trump likes to project himself as a highly successful businessman, but surprisingly little is known about his true financial position. Various articles, including a 2016 in-depth analysis by The Wall Street Journal, have speculated about his income and asset base. All sorts of claims and counter-claims have been made about his wealth – by Trump himself, pitching his fortune at some $9bn, and by journalist Timothy O'Brien, suggesting that it is as “low” as $150m-$250m. It is doubtful whether we shall ever know the truth, but we can use Trump’s UK corporate filings to gain an insight into his businesses in Scotland.
Companies: AVO ARBB ARIX CLIG DNL FLTA ICGT PCA PIN PHP RECI STX SCE TRX SHED VTA YEW
The group has released a positive trading update, signalling a strong H2 and performance ahead of expectations. The new guidance points to a 6.7% upgrade to revenues and a 10.5% upgrade to EBITDA. Cash generation has been notably strong, at about $26m, which will drive an increase in supplemental dividends with a dividend yield of 7.1%. We raise our TP from 255p to 285p, based on a target P/E of 14x, giving decent upside to the current 11.6x.
Companies: Somero Enterprises, Inc.
Xpediator has delivered a healthy trading update, breaking several revenue records during H2 2020. Furthermore, the outlook for FY21 remains promising, reflecting recovery to more normal levels in Transport Services, a full-year impact of the Nidd acquisition, the turnaround of underperforming businesses, and new ventures. The £6m PBT forecast for FY20 highlights an improving margin, albeit this represents a shortfall from FY18. In our opinion management actions, plus recovering markets, can take the Group to peak margins over the next 18-24 months: delivering a marked increase in profitability.
Brick and concrete products group Forterra has raised its guidance for FY 2020E to above the current consensus range and reinstated dividends following trading in Autumn which exceeded its previous expectations and which has continued strongly despite the second lockdown. We have increased our FY 2020E revenue, EBITDA and EPS estimates by 3%, 14% and 46% respectively, and cut our net debt projection. We have introduced FY 2021E estimates showing further strong expected growth.
Companies: Forterra Plc
SThree has released a brief update ahead of the scheduled Q4 trading update expected on 12th December. The key headline is that an improving trading backdrop over the last few months has driven a better than expected profit performance. Market consensus was clearly too light with the company now guiding for an FY’20 outcome above the top end of the range of expectations. We have updated our forecasts accordingly and now look for FY’20 PBT and EPS of £28.1m / 13.3p respectively – a PBT upgrade of +53% on our previous estimate. Although the company has not formally reinstated full guidance, we are taking this opportunity to publish our estimates for FY’21. SThree has shown good resilience through this pandemic. The combination of STEM industry specialism and the inherently higher short term visibility of the contract focus has afforded SThree management a greater degree of flexibility when it came to aligning the necessary cost actions with the strategic ambitions of building market share in the key, global STEM markets. Costs and headcount have been cut, but they have been targeted and selective. The net result has been an increasingly positive tone in trading commentary, culminating in yesterday’s explicit upgrade. Has this been fully priced in by the market? To an extent yes, with the shares now standing +57% above the May 2020 lows and outperforming the peer group year to date. However, despite this outperformance (share price and operational) SThree still stands at a material valuation discount to its peers. We continue to find the extent of this valuation gap hard to justify.
Companies: SThree plc
The new ammendments to the UK CfD renewable energy support scheme opens up an opportunity for tidal energy to compete against floating offshore wind. We think the two technologies can deliver similar costs but that tidal, and specifically the already permitted capacity at Atlantis’s MeyGen site, has a marginal advantage in terms of readiness.
Companies: SIMEC Atlantis Energy Ltd.
H1F21 revenue was £107m, down 14.8% y/y (H1F20: £125.6m) and down 11.9% sequentially (H2F20: £121.5m). Q2F21 revenue was up 5.3% y/y, indicating a trend to recovery in the post-lockdown period across both, Ireland and the UK. The strength of LTHM's business model is supported by the diversity of its customer base and the expanse of its product offering, allowing it to withstand fluctuations in demand across market sectors. We believe LTHM stock is a relatively low risk investment given the strong cash position (131.6p/share), no debt and a stable yield. The stock trades at 8x EBITDA, compared to its peer average of ~11.1x, on what are more compelling metrics.
Companies: James Latham Plc
AFC has announced it has secured a long term lease over new premises at its Surrey HQ, which will serve as the Group’s large scale H-Power assembly and commissioning facility. We view this as a positive step forward in AFC scaling up its production to meet strong levels of demand in the current environment. We remain very comfortable with our investment thesis and target valuation of 68p per share outlined in our initiation note in September.
Companies: AFC Energy plc
H1F21, impacted by the COVID pandemic, created mixed trading conditions across CML's end-markets, particularly when combined with continuing industry headwinds. However, with solid sales and new orders in Storage markets and a growing product portfolio in Communications markets, supported by a clear strategy focused on enhanced capabilities and internal expertise to increase the size of the addressable market; strong proprietary IP and respected quality/reliability of technology; and continued investment in R&D to grow the product portfolio and in sales & marketing to expand the customer base; it is evident that CML is positioning itself for medium to long-term growth. We believe it is evident that these investments today will allow CML to deliver strong shareholder returns in the future.
Companies: CML Microsystems Plc