DAILY MORNING NOTE | 21 February 2024

Trades Initiated in the past week

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Singapore shares rose 0.6 per cent or 18.15 points to 3,244.06 on Tuesday (Feb 20). Across the broader market, gainers beat losers 281 to 251 after 1.9 billion securities worth S$978.7 million changed hands. Regional markets were mixed after China lowered its five-year loan prime rate more than expected. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index appeared to be buoyed by the news, rising 0.6 per cent. However, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.8 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down by 0.3 per cent.

US stocks fell on Tuesday at the beginning of a shortened week of trading due to the President’s Day holiday, dragged down by Nvidia, which slipped ahead of upcoming earnings results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.2 per cent at 38,563.80, while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.6 per cent to 4,975.51. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.9 per cent to 15,630.78. Chip giant Nvidia was down 4.4 per cent. However, its stock is still up markedly since the beginning of the year, with enthusiasm for AI-related companies having sent its share price surging.

Top gainers & losers

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Events Of The Week

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SG

SIA 3Q24 update

3Q24 (ended Dec 23) revenue was 4.9% higher YoY, on the back of strong passenger (+19.1% YoY) and slight growth in cargo load (+3.9%). This was offset by lower yields – passenger revenue per available seat-km (RASK) fell 6.6% YoY to 9.9 cents, cargo yield down 37.4% to 40.3 cents – as a result of competitive pressure. Scoot saw a steeper decline of 12.2% YoY in RASK to 6.5 cents while unit cost climbed 3.2% to 6.4 cents. This lifted Scoot’s breakeven load factor to 88.9%, very close to its achieved load factor of 90.5%. Overall costs rose faster at 9.3% YoY despite a 6.6% decline in jet fuel price. As a result, 3Q24 operating profit was 19.3% lower YoY at S$609mn. Net profit was lifted (+4.9%) by higher interest income, though the amount was not disclosed (1H24: S$334mn). Other gains include positive contributions from associates, gains on aircraft sale and lower tax expense due to carried forward tax losses. With the partial redemption of MCBs at end Dec, balance sheet slipped into net debt of S$3.2bn as at Dec 23. Net gearing was 0.2x and book value fell to S$5.24/share. We are looking to raise our earnings estimates for FY24e and FY25e to account for still strong passenger volume. However, 4Q24e net profit is likely to be lower QoQ, reflecting lower yields, inflationary cost pressure, and reduced interest income.

Peggy Mak
Research Manager
peggymak@phillip.com.sg


Healthcare real estate investment trust (Reit) First Reit on Tuesday (Feb 20) posted a 6.1 per cent decrease in distribution per unit (DPU) to S$0.0124 for the second half ended Dec 31, 2023, from S$0.0132 in the corresponding year-ago period. The H2 DPU comprises a Q3 DPU of S$0.0062, which was paid out on Dec 22, 2023, as well as a Q4 DPU of S$0.0062, which will be disbursed on Mar 28. This brings the Reit’s full-year DPU to S$0.0248, which is lower than the S$0.0264 in FY2022. The decrease in the full-year DPU was due to a lower distributable income of S$51.4 million. This was down 1.9 per cent from S$52.4 million, coming on the back of higher financing costs and the depreciation of the Indonesian rupiah and Japanese yen against the Singapore dollar. The fall in FY2023 DPU also took into account a one-off issuance of 431.1 million units in March 2022, to partially fund the acquisition of 12 nursing homes, resulting in an enlarged unit base. For the second half ended Dec 31, 2023, rental and other income fell 5.1 per cent year on year to S$54.6 million, from S$57.5 million. Net property and other income for the period decreased 5.2 per cent to S$52.9 million, from S$55.8 million.

ValueMax on Tuesday (Feb 20) posted a 44.4 per cent rise in net profit to S$27.8 million for the second half of 2023 ended December, from S$19.2 million in the previous corresponding period. Revenue for H2 rose 34.1 per cent to S$179.2 million, from S$133.6 million a year earlier. Top-line contributions from the group’s retail and trading of jewellery and gold business, pawnbroking business and moneylending business rose by S$31.1 million, S$4.9 million and S$9.6 million, respectively. Cost of sales for H2 climbed to S$124.7 million from S$93.9 million a year earlier, mainly due to increases in cost of sales for the retail and trading of jewellery and gold business and the moneylending business, at S$26 million and S$4.8 million, respectively. These are in line with the increase in revenue. Earnings per share stood at 3.59 Singapore cents for the second half of FY2023, up from 2.63 cents the previous year. A final dividend of 2.2 Singapore cents per share was declared for the full year, up from two cents the year before.

Mixed property developer First Sponsor Group on Tuesday (Feb 20) booked a net profit slide of 96.8 per cent to S$1.9 million for the second half ended Dec 31, 2023, from S$59.9 million a year earlier. The results come as the group’s top line for the period decreased 52.9 per cent year on year to S$147 million, from S$312.2 million. This in turn was the result of lower revenue from the sale of properties and property financing, though it was partially offset by revenue increases from hotel operations and rental of investment properties. In particular, revenue from the sale of properties plunged 90.1 per cent to S$18.2 million in H2 FY2023. This was driven by the absence of significant inventory handover from The Pinnacle project in Dongguan in China’s Guangdong province. First Sponsor said that the project is mostly sold and completed; only two small office-home office (Soho) units and three retail units were handed over in H2 FY2023. In the year-ago period, 168 residential, 45 Soho and two retail units, as well as 111 car park lots, were handed over, it added.

TalkMed on Tuesday (Feb 20) posted a 2.8 per cent drop in earnings to S$17.9 million for the second half ended Dec 31, 2023, from S$18.4 million in the corresponding year-ago period. The dip was attributed to higher impairment loss, other operating expenses and employee benefit costs in H2 FY2023. This translates to earnings per share (EPS) of S$0.0135, down from S$0.0139 year on year. The group recorded a revenue uptick of 4.2 per cent on-year to S$46 million, from S$44.1 million in H2 FY2022, due to an increase in oncology revenue from higher management fees. It also netted an increase in revenue from its subsidiary, CellVac, for cellular and gene therapy-related products and services. TalkMed has a 60 per cent stake in CellVac. The group has declared a final dividend of S$0.013 per share for FY2023, to be paid out on May 10. This is lower than the final dividend of S$0.015 per share declared in FY2022.


US

Sports streaming platform FuboTV is suing Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery over their recently announced joint venture, citing what the company calls “extreme suppression of competition in the U.S. sports-focused streaming market,” according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by CNBC. The joint venture, announced earlier this month, aims to offer viewers a new way to access marquee live sports. It’s slated to roll out this fall, but several questions remain around its pricing and structure. “These horizontal competitors are colluding to create a JV that will cause substantial harm to competition and consumers,” the complaint says. The lawsuit also names Disney-owned ESPN and Hulu as defendants. “Each of these companies has consistently engaged in anticompetitive practices that aim to monopolize the market, stifle any form of competition, create higher pricing for subscribers and cheat consumers from deserved choice,” FuboTV CEO David Gandler said in a statement. “By joining together to exclusively reserve the rights to distribute a specialized live sports package, we believe these corporations are erecting insurmountable barriers that will effectively block any new competitors from entering the market.”

Walmart has agreed to buy TV maker Vizio, the companies announced Tuesday, as the largest U.S. retailer grows its high-profit ad business. Walmart will acquire Vizio for $2.3 billion, or $11.50 per share, in cash. The big-box retailer announced the acquisition as it reported its fourth-quarter earnings. Vizio shares, which spiked after reports of the deal first emerged last week, closed at $11.08 on Tuesday after another 16% pop. Walmart and its Sam’s Club warehouse chain have long been major sellers of Vizio devices. But in buying the company, Walmart touted the potential to boost its ad business through Vizio’s SmartCast Operating System, which allows users to stream free ad-supported content on their TVs.

Oil prices settled lower on Tuesday, with worries about global demand offsetting price support from the Israel-Hamas conflict. Brent futures settled down US$1.22, or 1.5 per cent, to US$82.34 a barrel. The six-month spread for Brent on Tuesday was at its highest since October, a sign of a tighter market. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for March delivery, which expires on Tuesday, settled down US$1.01, or 1.3 per cent, to US$78.18 a barrel. The more actively traded April WTI contract settled down US$1.30, or 1.4 per cent, to US$77.04 a barrel. There was no settlement for WTI on Monday due to a US public holiday. The premium for prompt US crude futures to the second-month contract more than doubled, hitting a high of US$1.71 a barrel – its widest in roughly four months. This encourages energy companies to sell now rather than paying to store product for future months.

Source: SGX Masnet, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia, Reuters, CNBC, WSJ, The Business Times, PSR


RESEARCH REPORTS

Elite Commercial REIT – De-risked with stable cash flow till FY28

Recommendation: BUY (Maintained), Last Done: £0.26

Target price: TP: £0.34, Analyst: Liu Miaomiao

– Gross revenue for FY23 was within expectation and increased by 1.5% YoY to £37.6mn due to rental escalation but offset by eight assets vacated in Apr23. NPI surpassed estimates by 9%, summing to £41.4mn due to the £8mn dilapidation settlement with respect to vacated assets.

– DPU within our expectations after retaining 10% of distribution. DPU down to 3.42 pence (-28.9YoY). ELITE planned to retain a 10% distribution in the face of macroeconomic uncertainty; the actual distribution after retention was 3.07 pence.

– We reiterate our BUY recommendation with a lower DDM-TP of £0.34 (prev. £0.36) and FY24e-25e DPU forecasts of 3.89 pence to 4.61 pence. ELITE has been largely de-risked with healthier gearing at 40.9% and stable cash flow till 2028 since there’s no more break clause. ELITE is currently trading at FY24e dividend yields of 14.97% and 0.68x P/NAV.

Airbnb Inc – Slowdown in booking volumes

Recommendation: NEUTRAL (Downgraded); TP: US$150.00

Analyst: Ambrish Shah

– FY23 revenue/adj. PATMI met our expectations at 101%/103% of our forecasts. 4Q23 revenue grew 17% YoY to US$2.2bn led by a 12% YoY surge in booking volumes. Adj. PATMI (excl. one-off tax items of US$1bn) grew 53% YoY to US$489mn on higher operating leverage and interest income.

– For 1Q24e, Airbnb expects revenue to rise 13% YoY to US$2.05bn. The booking volume growth rate is expected to further decelerate to high-single digits due to tough comparisons. For FY24e, Airbnb expects adj. EBITDA margins of at least 35% compared to 37% in FY23 as it plans to invest in product development and marketing.

– We downgrade to NEUTRAL from BUY recommendation after the recent jump in its stock price. We lower our DCF target price to US$150.00 (prev. US$157.00) with an unchanged WACC of 7% and terminal growth rate of 4%. We lower our FY24e revenue/adj. PATMI estimates by 1%/14% to account for moderation in travel demand and higher expenses.

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